This design standard's purpose is to make sure all dwelling units in projects funded by Minnesota Housing are eligible to accept tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) vouchers. TBRA vouchers are required to meet HUD’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS), and under HQS, all bedrooms are required to have a window for natural light.
We will make the following exceptions:
- If the local TBRA voucher administrator receives approval for an acceptability criteria variation from their HUD field office that allows the voucher to be used in the windowless bedroom/unit, OR
- If 100% of the dwelling units receive project-based rental assistance (PBRA). PBRA properties, such as a project-based Section 8 development, are not required to meet HQS. Instead they are required to meet the Uniform Physical Conditions Standards (UPCS) under which windowless bedrooms are allowed.
Projects considering windowless bedrooms need to meet the exceptions described above and provide due diligence to substantiate the voucher administrator’s variance/approval from HUD, or that all units receive PBRA.
Examples of Acceptable Due Diligence Documentation
- A copy of the HQS section of the PHA Admin plan that shows the exception is allowed, OR
- A copy of the PHA’s Acceptability Criteria Variation document or letter with that language, OR
- A copy of a waiver/HUD communication that approves a waiver of Regulations-24 CFR 982.401 (f)(2)(i) and 24 CFR 982.401 (h)(2)(iv) for the specific project/unit.
NOTE: Metro HRA has received an acceptability criteria variation, so properties within Metro HRA jurisdiction are exempt and may have windowless bedrooms.