Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs)

Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) are an important tool PHAs can use to increase choice for voucher holders and efficiency in the administration of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. In 2016, HUD published the Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMR) Final Rule allowing for the determination of HCV payment standards using Fair Market Rents (FMRs) calculated at the ZIP code level, rather than a metropolitan area-wide FMR. SAFMRs allow for payment standards to be established that more accurately reflect the local market. This can be helpful in providing voucher holders greater access to low-poverty and/or high-opportunity neighborhoods.  

Currently, there are 24 metropolitan areas where the use of SAFMRs is required in the administration of HCV. This will be expanding to 41 additional metropolitan areas starting January 1, 2025. Additional public housing agencies (PHAs) have voluntarily adopted SAFMRs or are utilizing SAFMRs as exception payment standards to increase access to units for their voucher families.   

SAFMR Dashboard

The Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR) Dashboard shows which PHAs have adopted small area FMRs and how many HCV program units are associated with SAFMRs nationally.  The dashboard allows the user to drill down to the state and PHA-level.  The dashboard data with respect to program units is updated monthly with the most current and relevant data from HUD administrative systems.  The classification of PHAs with SAFMRs is updated as soon as they are identified as such to HUD.   

The SAFMR dashboard is accessible both internally to HUD employees and externally to the public. The public-facing dashboard is embedded below and accessible via this link.

This dashboard displays best in Chrome and Firefox. 

If you have questions regarding the SAFMR Data dashboard, please send an email to  

SAFMR Resources

SAFMR Data Set – Use this lookup tool to find current and previously published SAFMRs by ZIP Code.

2016 SAFMR Final Rule - On November 16, 2016, HUD released a Notice of Final Rulemaking regarding the use of Small Area FMRs in certain metropolitan areas for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The notice was published in the Federal Register. 

24 CFR Part 888 – HUD Regulations governing Fair Market Rents, including SAFMRs for the HCV program. 

PIH Notice 2018-01: Guidance on Recent Changes in Fair Market Rent (FMR), Payment Standard, and Rent Reasonableness Requirements in the Housing Choice Voucher Program – This PIH Notice provides detailed guidance for implementing the regulatory provisions of the SAFMR Final Rule in the HCV program. It provides important instructions, not only for PHAs in Designated SAFMR Areas, but also for PHAs that wish to voluntarily adopt SAFMRs (“Opt-In”) or to utilize SAFMRs as exception payment standards. It’s appendix also lists the current metropolitan areas where the use of SAFMRs is mandatory as of FY2018. 

Federal Register Notice FR-6426-N-01 – This Notice describes the expansion of SAFMRs to 41 additional metropolitan areas with an implementation date of October 1, 2024.

PIH Notice 2023-32 – This notice provides guidance to PHAs and Field Offices operating in the 41 metropolitan areas with an implementation date of October 1, 2024.

HUD Exchange SAFMR Website – This website provides additional information and resources to assist PHAs in implementation of SAFMRs. It includes the SAFMRs Implementation Guidebook, case studies and sample implementation documents, among other useful resources. 

HCV Overview Video Series: Small Area Fair Market Rents – This short video provides an overview of SAFMRs, the different types of SAFMR adoption available to PHAs, tools for PHAs to analyze the benefits of using SAFMRs, how PHAs can use SAFMRs as exception payment standards and other implementation factors.

HCV Utilization Webinar - Considering Small Area FMRs – This webinar recording targeted to PHAs considering opting into SAFMRs. Topics include a walk through of the new Small Area FMR dashboard/web page, the benefits of Small Area FMRs, how to implement them, and a reminder about additional funds.

Small Area Fair Market Rents Frequently Asked Questions – Common questions that PHAs might have regarding SAFMR guidelines and implementation.

Tenant Frequently Asked Questions: Small Area Fair Market Rents

Owner Frequently Asked Questions: Small Area Fair Market Rents

Best Practices in SAFMR Implementation – These documents describe best practices on a range of topics such as training tenants, landlords, and grouping ZIP codes from Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) that are already implementing Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs).

SAFMR Webinar for 2024 Expansion PHAs – This webinar from Nov 7, 2023 provides additional information to PHAs that are designed to adopt Small Area Fair Market Rents in 2024.

SAFMR PHA List – This list includes PHAs in the 2024 and 2018 mandatory SAFMR metro areas, as well as Opt-in PHAs who have voluntarily implemented SAFMRs across their jurisdiction. Please contact if you have questions about this list.