The shelter allowance may be for rent or for property expenses paid on a home the client owns or is purchasing. Allow rent or property related expense as follows:
The maximum rent allowance for a dwelling is $97, plus allowances for utilities and furnishings if included in the rent. Allow the client what they are actually charged for rent, up to the maximum. If the rent charged is more than $97 and the rent includes charges for heating fuel, electricity, cooking fuel, water, or furnishings, add an allowance for each charge. (See WAG 25-03-03 for standard utility amounts.)
When a client lives in government subsidized housing, allow only the rent amount actually paid by the client, up to the maximum. Do not include any subsidy paid by the government.
- Properties, Payments, Taxes and Insurance
Renters Insurance is not an allowance that is available to be given to a client that does not own their home. This allowance only applies to homeowners insurance.
For clients living in homestead property, the shelter allowance is for property expenses instead of rent. Allow the lesser of the $97 maximum, or the annual property expenses (mortgage, taxes, and insurance) prorated on a monthly basis.
Base the client's shelter costs on their living arrangements. Using the client's living arrangement, determine the shelter allowance as follows:
- If the client does not have shelter expenses, do not allow a shelter allowance when determining the client's Cash Assistance Standard.
- If the client is a boarder, allow the flat rate for board (see PM 11-01-01-a).
- If the client lives alone or as a separate household, allow the amount of rent charged or property payment not to exceed the maximum.
- If the client is in a shared living arrangement, the shelter maximum applies to the dwelling unit, not to each person who shares the dwelling.
To determine the client's shelter expenses, divide the allowable shelter expenses by the number of persons living in the dwelling. If rent includes furnishings or utilities, add any additional allowances to the $97 maximum, then prorate.