Fair Market Rent Definitions

There is a lot of terminology surrounding Fair Market Rents. Here we will define some of the most common terms and highlight common points of confusion.

Fair Market Rent Definitions

Common Space

In shared housing: Space available for use by the assisted family and other occupants of the unit. Also see "Private Space."

Congregate housing.

Housing for an elderly person or people with disabilities that meets the minimum Housing Quality Standards.

Disabled Family

A family whose head, spouse, or sole member is a person with a disability. It may include two or more persons with disabilities living together, or one or more persons with disabilities living with one or more live-in aides.

Displaced Family

A family in which each member was displaced by governmental action, or whose dwelling has been extensively damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster declared or otherwise formally recognized pursuant to Federal disaster relief.


The legal residence of the household head or spouse as determined in accordance with State and local law.

Elderly Family

Family whose head is over the age of 62.

Fair Market Rent

The rent amount, including utilities (except telephone), to rent privately owned, existing, decent, safe and sanitary rental housing of modest (non-luxury) nature with suitable amenities. See more >


A family includes, but is not limited to, the following, regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status:

Ultimately a family designation is determined by the relevant PHA.

Family Share

The portion of rent and utilities paid by the family. See "Total Tenant Payment" (TTP).

Gross Rent

The sum of the rent to owner plus utilities (other then telephone).

Payment Standard

The maximum monthly assistance payment to a family assisted in the housing voucher program before deducting the Total Tenant Payment (or Family Share) paid by the family. See more >

Private Space

In shared housing: The portion of a contract unit that is for the exclusive use of an assisted family. Also see "Common Space."

Public Housing Agency (PHA)

State, county, municipality, or other governmental entity or public body which is authorized to administer the housing voucher program. Rather than the HUD administering the Section 8 program in communities all over the country, the HUD delegates administration of the program to local entities.

Single room occupancy housing (SRO)

A unit that contains no bathroom or kitchen, or contains one, but not both, types of facilities.


An individual or a family renting or occupying a dwelling unit.

Total Tenant Payment (TTP)

The portion of rent and utilities normally paid by the family. The TTP should equal The Greatest of: