What Are Allowable Assets for Subsidized Housing?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allows you to have assets, but some assets are included in the family income and may result in you being denied housing assistance. Subsidized housing in the U.S. is overseen by HUD in the form of the Section 8 voucher program, also known as Belmont and USDA Rural Housing.


Vehicles that are for you and your family's personal use are not counted as assets in the Section 8 program. Vans and cars that are specially equipped for use by a disabled family member are excluded from your income even though the vehicles may have a higher value as a result of the modifications. However, vehicles you own for investment purposes are counted toward your income.

Business Items

Items you use as part of an active business, like store space, equipment and vehicles, are not counted as assets in your income. The business must be active, so any assets you have from a defunct or stalled business are typically included when the housing agency determines your income eligibility.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance policies on you or your family members do not count as included assets. A term life insurance policy is a policy on which you make fixed payments for a set period of time, like 15 years, but the policy does not pay out unless you die. Whole life insurance policies that have a monetary value you may draw on are included in the subsidized housing qualification process.

Assets of Others

Any assets that are in your name but belong to another person who is not in your household are excluded from income. The income the asset earns must go to the other person, and he must be responsible for any taxes that result.

Indian Trust Land Interest

Any interest you hold in Indian trust land is not considered an included asset for housing assistance. Indian trust land is land that is legally owned by the federal government, but any beneficial interest generated by the land still goes to those individuals with an interest.

Military and Student Payments

Any special pay received by a member of the armed forces in your household due to exposure to hostile fire is not counted by HUD as a cash asset.

Financial assistance provided to a student in the form of loans or grants is an excluded asset under HUD guidelines.