PIH Regulatory Waiver Guidance

April 28, 2020
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Built for Zero compiled this information in response to community requests for consolidated, vetted guidance about HUD’s recently issued regulatory waivers on a number of requirements for the PIH program.

On April 10, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) issued a large number of waivers for the Public Housing (PH), Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG), and Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) programs. The purpose of the waivers is to assist PHAs and Tribal housing providers in continuing to provide critical housing services to their local communities during COVID-19. 

This document is designed to get you started with information about what the waivers do and how to use them. Please note that this set of waivers is different from the  COC/ESG/HOPWA regulatory waivers HUD issued on April 1. For introductory guidance on that document, please click here.


Last Updated April 28, 2020

This set of waivers covers the PH, HCV, IHBG, and ICDBG programs. In the table below, we summarize the PH and HCV programs, which are most relevant for communities in Built for Zero. For IHBG and ICDBG programs, please refer directly to HUD’s memo.

With respect to the HCV program, the waiver and alternative requirements are applicable to the special purpose vouchers such as Mainstream vouchers, Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers, and HUD-VASH vouchers.

PHAs can choose to adopt some, all, or none of the waivers at their discretion. Some of the waivers require the use of alternative requirements. If the PHA adopts a waiver with an alternative requirement, the PHA must comply with the alternative requirement. 

For complete details on all the information below, we strongly recommend reviewing HUD’s April 10th waiver memo. The information below is intended solely as a high-level summary, with language often taken directly from the HUD memo.

This set of waivers covers the following joint PH-HCV requirements:

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Sources in Chart:

This set of waivers covers the following HCV requirements:

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This set of waivers covers the following PH requirements:

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The regulatory waiver covers the following HQS requirements:

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Lastly, the regulatory waiver covers a range of miscellaneous provisions:


They just start using them. Quoting directly from HUD: “A PHA does not need to notify HUD or receive HUD approval to begin utilizing these waivers/alternative requirements.” That said, “HUD may require the PHA to provide information to HUD on the waivers used by the PHA and the date the PHA applied the waiver to its program(s),” so we recommend that PHAs keep track of which waivers they’re putting into effect.

For specific, bounded questions about what’s allowed, your best best is to use the HUD Ask A Question (AAQ) portal. HUD triages AAQ questions pretty quickly to expert TA providers (often the same folks who provide on-the-ground TA), and you’ll typically get a response within 3-5 business days (maybe a little longer these days). You may also want to check with your local field office (list here) for more region-specific questions.



Learn more about our process for vetting information.


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What context was the data underlying this recommendation collected in?

  • This data was collected largely (and sometimes copied directly) from publicly available HUD resources. Some ancillary documents were collected from BfZ communities.

What context or question do we recommend this resource for?

  • We recommend this resource for communities who have questions about what the PIH  regulatory waiver covers and how to use it.

What other contexts do we reasonably think this recommendation might apply to, and on what basis?

  • N/A


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Who reviewed this data, and what are their credentials to assess it?

  • Two members of the BFZ team — a former attorney and an improvement advisor who joined us from a current HUD TA provider — drafted this guidance, later reviewed by other team members.


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When was the data underlying this recommendation collected?

  • Links in this resource are accurate as of 4/28/20.

Do we have reason to believe the situation has materially changed since that date, or is likely to change soon?

  • We anticipate that this guidance may change over time and recommend subscribing to HUD’s email update list for the latest guidance.


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What specific component of this resource do we recommend?

  • N/A

Are there any specific elements of this resource we do not recommend?

  • N/A

Open Questions

questions by Gregor Cresnar from the Noun Project

What elements of this resource were we unable to assess?

  • N/A

What elements of this resource do we want to know more about?

  • Whether waivers are likely to be extended