The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem, or HAWS, could have a new way to determine rents for one of its programs. That's according to a brief report before the HAWS Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

Winston-Salem's housing choice voucher program gives certain renters options outside of the traditional public housing model. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, will soon require the use of small area fair market rents to determine rental costs for participants.

According to HUD, a fair market price is the 40th percentile of gross rents for units in a local market. In Winston-Salem, this is around $805 for a one-bedroom apartment.

Currently, the entire city is looked at to determine cost. HAWS Executive Director Kevin Cheshire says the new mandate will require housing authorities to look at the zip code level to determine fair market rents.

"It will really change how we operate our program and how we manage informing participants about where they can rent, and at what amount," he says.

The housing authority will begin preparing for the change over the next several months, Cheshire says.

It is expected to take effect in October 2024.

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