The standard definition of affordable housing is when housing expenses are no more than 30% of a family’s gross income. Ideally, very one of us is able to live in affordable housing.
The term affordable housing is also used to refer to income-restricted properties. In expensive regions like ours rents are not affordable to the average working family and these types of properties are absolutely essential for a thriving economy. Projects are typically built and managed by nonprofit and for-profit developers with money from conventional loans, private investment, bonds and/or tax credits. Many of these developments also have rental subsidies attached to them in order to make the units more affordable to the very low and extremely low income families.
Is Income-Restricted Affordable Housing The Same As Public Housing Or Government Subsidized Housing? No. Public housing refers to affordable apartments for low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) but owned and managed by local Housing Authorities. This type of affordable housing provides a limited number of rental apartments to households in the HUD program and money for this program is provided by the federal government.
What is Area Median Income (AMI). Median income is the amount that divides the income distribution into two equal groups with half having income above that amount, and half having income below that amount. AMI is calculated each year by HUD as well as the California Department of Housing and Community Development for designated programs and is used to determine applicant eligibility (based on the level of household income) and to calculate rents for affordable housing programs. The graph above illustrates how AMI levels distinguish what is considered affordable and who qualifies for income-restricted, affordable rentals.