The monthly housing assistance payment is distributed as follows:
(a) The PHA pays the owner the lesser of the housing assistance payment or the rent to owner.
(b) If the housing assistance payment exceeds the rent to owner, the PHA may pay the balance of the housing assistance payment (“utility reimbursement”) either to the family or directly to the utility supplier to pay the utility bill on behalf of the family. If the PHA elects to pay the utility supplier directly, the PHA must notify the family of the amount paid to the utility supplier.
(c) The PHA may elect to establish policies regarding the frequency of utility reimbursement payments for payments made to the family.
(1) The PHA will have the option of making utility reimbursement payments not less than once per calendar-year quarter, for reimbursements totaling $45 or less per quarter. In the event a family leaves the program in advance of its next quarterly reimbursement, the PHA would be required to reimburse the family for a prorated share of the applicable reimbursement. PHAs exercising this option must have a hardship policy in place for tenants.
(2) If the PHA elects to pay the utility supplier directly, the PHA must notify the family of the amount paid to the utility supplier.