Determining Fair Market Rent for Section 8 Public Housing Subsidies

Client: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)


Given affordable rental housing is limited in many communities; there are millions of renter households, particularly low-income households, spending more than 50 percent or 30 percent to 50 percent of their income on housing.  Consequently, the Fair Market Rent estimates significantly impact many American households.  HUD sets FMR’s to ensure a sufficient supply of rental housing is available to Section 8 program participants.

M. Davis and Company, Inc. was contracted to conduct the Fair Market Rent (FMR) Telephone Surveys for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). FMRs serve as the payment standard used to calculate subsidies under the Section 8 Rental Voucher program. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annually estimates FMRs for about 350 metropolitan areas and 2,330 non-metropolitan county FMR areas.


Between 2007 and 2010, MDAC completed over 10,320 Random Digit Dialing (RDD) telephone surveys that were used to re-benchmark the Fair Market Rent (FMR).  Both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas were surveyed. Surveys were conducted in English and Spanish. The project required 40th and 50th percentile contract and gross rents to be calculated at standard 95% confidence interval.


The Fair Market Rent Survey was used to re-benchmark the Fair Market Rent (FMR) when there was a significant difference.  AAPOR Response Rates of between 30% and 40% were achieved for this project.

“Fair Market Rent Telephone Surveys”

M. Davis and Company, Inc. 
Main Office
3000 Market Street Suite 202, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 215.790.8900 Fax: 215.790.8930

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1391 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Unit 335, Washington, DC 20003

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