Shelter Cost Sharing
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program Information on this page refers to the Cash Assistance program
This subject includes information about participants or budgetary unit sharing shelter costs.
Money for shelter costs exchanged between participants, or participants and nonparticipants, residing in the same dwelling, is not countable unearned income.
NOTE When the money is exchanged between members of the same budgetary unit the excess income is not countable since the income of all members is already being counted. (See Example 1)
However, the income may be countable when any of the following apply:
When two or more budgetary units share rental expenses, the amount of money paid directly to the participant exceeding the participant’s actual expense is countable unearned income. (See Example 2)
When a nonparticipant is renting from a participant homeowner, the rent paid to the participant homeowner is countable. See Rental Property Income on whether the income is counted as earned or unearned Income.
Countable income is used to determine an income budget. (See Income Budgeting to see how FAA determines the income budget.) FAA needs to know about income that is both countable and not countable to determine whether a budgetary unit’s income is exceeding their expenses. (See Income Eligibility for more information about how FAA uses countable and not countable income.)
The participant has the primary responsibility for providing verification. (See Participant Responsibilities – Providing Verification for additional policy.)
For NA, all of the following income is required to be verified before eligibility is determined:
Reported on a new application, during the interview of a new application, or changes reported before the eligibility determination of a new application.
Changes after an eligibility determination of a new application (e.g., a renewal application, mid approval contact, etc.) and any of the following apply:
The source of the income has changed.
The income is questionable(g) or unclear(g).
The reported income amount has changed by $51 or more.
The previous verification in the case file is more than 59 calendar days old.
For CA, all income is required to be verified before determining eligibility.
Examples of verification that can be used for shelter cost sharing include, and are not limited to, any of the following:
Signed statement from the agency or payer providing the income
Rent receipt or lease agreement
Collateral contact
Participant statement verification when any of the following occur:
Other attempts to obtain verification have failed
Obtaining documented or collateral contact verification may cause harm or undue hardship(g) for the participant.
NOTE A participant’s statement is not allowed to verify income when it is considered questionable.
1) Eric and Kent live together and are part of the same budgetary unit.
Kenny pays $300 rent to Eric each month
Eric’s rental obligation is only $200 per month
Eric receives $100 a month more than his rental obligation of $200.
Kenny’s income is $418 per month in CA. Eric is not part of the CA budgetary unit.
Kenny’s income is already being counted in the budgetary unit so, the $100 excess that Eric receives is not countable.
2) Kyle and Stan live together and are separate NA budgetary units.
Kyle is renting and has a rental obligation of $400 per month.
Stan pays $500 per month to Kyle, and they split the utility expenses.
Kyle receives $100 a month more than his actual rental expense from Stan. This income is countable as unearned income to Kyle’s budgetary unit.
Legal Authorities
7CFR 273.9
last revised 10/02/2023