PM 13-01-08-a: Housing Costs

WAG 13-01-08-a

Verification of housing costs is not required for SNAP. Allow the following housing costs when determining the excess shelter deduction:

Rent or Mortgage Payments

Allow ongoing current charges for the home where the SNAP household lives. These charges include: rent, mortgage payments, condo and association fees, loan repayments for the purchase of a mobile home, and other charges that lead to the ownership of the residence. This also includes any interest on such charges.

Extra charges that are billed by the landlord as part of the rent such as cable, pets fee, washer, dryer, and parking may be allowed as rent. Use the appropriate utility standard if the SNAP unit incurs utility expenses that are not included in the rent. (PM 13-01-08-b and WAG 13-01-08-a). Do not allow a utility standard if the rent includes all utilities.

Example: Mr. B's lot rent is $100. He also pays water and sewerage $8, garbage $4, cable $15, and a pet fee of $10 to the landlord. Allow the lot rent, cable charge, and pet fee as part of the rent. The total amount of Mr. B's rent is $125. He is billed by the utility company for heat. Mr. B qualifies for the Air Conditioning/Heating Standard.

Payments Made in Advance

If a SNAP household makes payments in advance, allow the current charges without regard to when it is actually paid.

Example: Mr. B's rent is $350 a month. He received an income tax refund of $1,050 in February and used the money to pay his rent 3 months in advance (March, April, May). Continue to allow Mr. B a housing cost of $350 for each month.

Shared Household Expenses

If housing costs are shared with another family, only allow the SNAP household's share. The SNAP household's  share is the amount that the SNAP household is responsible for paying.

One-time Only Expenses

Do not allow as housing costs onetime only charges, such as security deposits, closing costs, late fees, or penalties.

Illinois Hardest Hit Fund (HHF)

See PM 08-04-04-o for policy on the treatment of income and shelter expenses under the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund.

Group Home Residents

For a resident of a group home, including a CILA, allow the amount the group home states the client pays for shelter expenses, including utilities, as a housing cost for SNAP benefits.

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Taxes and Insurance

  • Allow property taxes, State and local assessments, and homeowner's insurance on the home where the SNAP household lives, as housing costs. If these costs are shared with another family, only allow the SNAP household's share. These costs are not allowed if the SNAP household is only renting the property where they reside. Do not allow the cost of a separate rider for insuring furniture or personal property. A separate rider that covers the dwelling of the home where the SNAP household resides, such as flood insurance, may be allowed if it can be identified as a cost that covers the dwelling and not personal items.
  • Do not allow that portion of rent or mortgage that was also allowed as a cost of doing business. 
  • If the SNAP household lives with an ineligible unit member who is excluded from the SNAP household, and the excluded member is billed or pays for the expense. See PM 05-03-00 to determine the allowable expense amount.

Shelter Expenses for Homeless SNAP Households

See PM 06-04-03 and WAG 06-04-03 for treatment of shelter expenses incurred by a SNAP homeless household PM 06-04-02 during the month.

new manual textDormitory Costs (without meals) Paid by Students of Higher Education

  • An institution of higher education may have mandatory or optional meal plans both of which are considered normal services of an institution (PM 04-05-04). Students who receive the majority (more than 50 percent) of their meals through either a mandatory or optional meal plan are considered residents of an institution and are ineligible for SNAP, regardless of meeting a student exemption.
  • A student who does not receive the majority of their meals from a meal plan is not a resident of an institution and may be eligible for SNAP if they meet a student exemption (PM 03-04-03-b) and all other SNAP eligibility requirements are met.
  • Dormitory costs paid by eligible students of higher education may be permitted as an allowable shelter expense for SNAP if the dormitory costs are solely for shelter and does not include meal fees as part of the costs, regardless of the number of meals.
  • Verification is not needed unless it is questionable that the student pays for their own dormitory costs and if meals are included. Students of higher education must be screened on case-by-case basis to determine the extent of their meal plan by asking questions during the interview to fully explore the student's meals and dormitory circumstances (See PM 03-04-05-b).