Income limits

From CEOpedia | Management online

Income limits - maximum income amounts set by a government agency that qualify or disqualify an individual or a family to take advantage of assistance family care programs (For example, such as affordable housing). These legal limits may be different because of the individual's condition (such as being pregnant), the family size or geographic location[1].


The income limit for an example program is the maximum amount of income a household can earn to qualify to receive assistance. The income limits are determined by the Area Median Income (AMI). The AMI is the "middle" number of all of the incomes for the given area; 50% of people in that area make more than that amount, and 50% make less than that amount. The income levels are percentages of that AMI number: any household income at or below 80% of the AMI is considered "low-income"; above 80% and up to 120% of the median income is considered "moderate - income." Above this is "middle-income"[2].

Current income limits in housing programs

The specific figure is based on the city's Area Median Income (AMI), and is adjusted depending on how many persons live in the household (including children). Income qualification is generally separated into three main tiers:

  • Low Income (80% AMI)
  • Very Low Income (50% AMI)
  • Extremely Low Income (30% AMI)

However, the number of tiers used and percentage of AMI used for qualification varies by each housing program. The required income limits for a waiting list may be found online on a public notice for a waiting list opening, or the housing authority or apartment community's website. A household's income is calculated by its gross income, which is the total income received before making subtractions for taxes and other deductions[3].

HCD and housing programs

The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is a department, that:

  • Develops housing policy and building codes
  • Regulates builded homes and mobilehome parks
  • Administers housing finance, economic development and community development programs

HCD's policy, applies to state and local housing programs linked to income limits[4]. HCD implements its policy and adjusts current year price decreases to supports and it increase the supply of affordable rental housing. Availability of affordable rental housing bring benefits a broad public and households with different income levels, because they are served by affordable housing providers which must abide by income limits and rent criteria. Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) publishes annual tables of official income limits for determining these maximums for a variety of programs, including most of those on the web site[5].


  1. Rosenson B. A. (2007), p. 116
  2. Rosenson B. A. (2007), p. 124-125
  3. Egan M., Kubina L. A.., Dubouloz C. J. (2015), p. 3-6
  4. Rosenson B. A. (2007), p. 112
  5. Igan D., Kang H. (2011), p. 9-13

Income limitsrecommended articles
Composite RateDisposable personal incomeCommercial rateDirect taxGross salaryCharitable foundationTaxation principlesCommunity foundationApplicable federal rate


Author: Filip Piszczek