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Affordable Housing: Social Security 2023 Cost of Living Adjustment

HUD Publishes 2022 Income LimitsOn October 13, 2022, the federal government announced the Social Security 2023 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) at 8.7% effective January 1, 2023. Individuals who receive SS (Social Security) will receive a mailing in late November or early December indicating their new benefit amount. This increase is effective in January for SS and effective December 31, 2022, for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits.

This increase affects all federal benefits (SS, SSI, Civil Service Pensions, Railroad Retirement and Veteran’s benefits).

Managers of affordable housing properties are required to determine income for eligibility and need to begin using this increase now in projecting income for applicants and residents. Failing to accurately calculate anticipated income using the newly announced COLA is a frequent compliance issue. It is very important when moving a new household into your site that they are income eligible.

Some important things to remember when calculating the increase and documenting the tenant file are as follows:

  1. A copy of the official Social Security COLA increase letter needs to be in the tenant file.
  2. Any move-in that would be scheduled for October 13, 2022, or later must project annual household income using the 2023 COLA for federal income benefits that are affected by this increase.
  3. Tenant Recertifications that have not been signed or dated prior to October 13, 2022, must include the 2023 COLA in the income calculation.

For example, a November 1, 2022, recertification that has NOT been completed on or before October 13, 2022, this includes being signed and dated by both the owner and the tenant, will need to include the 2023 COLA.

However, a recertification for November 1, 2022, that has been completed, including being signed and dated by both the owner and tenant prior to October 13, 2022, no changes are needed to the Tenant Income Certification.  (This is a huge advantage to properties that complete their recertifications early in the 90-120-day recertification period.)

  1. The calculation is done, as follows for a Move In or Recertification that has an effective date of November 1, 2022:

Multiply current monthly benefit X 2 (this is the first 2 months in the certification year – November & December)

Calculate current monthly benefit X 8.7%  (2023 COLA)

Add amount of increase into the current monthly benefit

Multiply new monthly benefit X 10 (months remaining in certification period—January through October 2023)

Add the 2 months at the current rate + 10 months at the new rate =

Projected Annual Income from November 1, 2022 to October 31, 2023.


Current rate is $809.50.

$809.50 X 2 = $1619.00 income for November 1, 2022 & December 31, 2022

$809.50 X 8.7% (increase) = $70.43 + $809.50 = $879.93 new monthly benefit

$879.93 X 10 months = $8799.30 income January 1, 2023 through October 31, 2023

$1619.00 + $8799.30 = $10,418.30 Projected Annual Income

If the move in or recertification effective date is December 1, 2022—you would calculate 1 month at the current rate and 11 months at the new rate.

Move Ins and Recertifications with an Effective Date of January 1, 2023, and later, will use 12 months at the new rate.

Creating and maintaining affordable housing communities is a complex task. Numerous state and federal requirements must be followed – both during development and for years thereafter. We clarify LIHTC, Federal HOME, HUD, and certification requirements you must follow to remain compliant. For more information on these services be sure to visit our Property Compliance page and don’t hesitate to contact us.

About the Author

Bette Newcomer

Bette is currently the Director of Compliance for MLCM, McKonly & Asbury’s affiliate property compliance company. Prior to joining MLCM in August 2014, she was with the Cumberland County Housing & Redevelopment Authorities for 17 years.

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