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Area Median Income (AMI)

Area Median Income (AMI)

The Area Median Income (AMI) is used by housing authorities to determine eligibility requirements for certain federal housing programs. Specifically, HUD uses AMI in its public housing and Section 8 rental assistance programs. Eligibility for these voucher programs is based on the difference between the household's income and the local AMI. AMI also affects the Fair Market Rents (FMR) calculation used to set rental rates and spending limits for the voucher and public housing programs. Many local housing authorities also use AMI, or a percentage of the AMI, as a criterion for eligibility for other rental housing programs. HUD updates the AMI annually by Metropolitan Statistical Areas(MSAs) and publishes it in its annual Median Family Income (MFI) estimates. The MFI is the median household income of a specific geographic area, calculated from all households in the most recent US Census. This figure is then adjusted for family size with an established multiplier and used to calculate the AMI for that region. This median income number is important for determining rental assistance eligibility and calculating FMR for the voucher and public housing programs established by HUD.


Area Median Income (AMI) is a powerful economic tool used to measure the financial health of a metropolitan or nonmetropolitan area. AMI is used to assess the overall income of a region and is a key indicator of a region's economic well-being and prosperity. In addition, AMI is used to determine affordability and eligibility for certain programs and services. For example, AMI is used to determine eligibility for housing assistance programs. Programs such as Section 8 housing, public housing, and housing vouchers require applicants to meet certain income limits. These income limits are determined using AMI. AMI is calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD utilizes various data sources, including government surveys, to determine the median income levels for each metropolitan or nonmetropolitan area. The median income is then used to calculate AMI for the region.


The area median income (AMI) is crucial in determining a region's affordable housing. It is the household income for a specific area's median or middle household. It provides a way to measure the economic health of a region. The AMI is calculated by taking the median income level of all households in an area, and it is used by government agencies, housing developers, and social service organizations to determine eligibility for affordable housing programs and services. For example, if the AMI in a certain region is $60,000, and the threshold for affordable housing is set at 50% of the AMI, then households with an income of $30,000 or less would qualify for affordable housing programs. The AMI varies widely across different regions, considering factors such as family size and the cost of living. Therefore, policymakers and community leaders must keep track of the AMI to ensure everyone has access to decent and affordable housing.


AMI refers to the median family income within a designated geographic area, such as a city, county, or state. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses AMI to determine eligibility for specific affordable housing programs. For instance, households earning below 80% of AMI may qualify for affordable housing subsidies. AMI varies by location and is calculated annually by HUD based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. For example, the 2021 AMI for San Francisco is $123,600 for a family of four, while the AMI for Rural Kansas is $60,400. Understanding AMI can help policymakers and community leaders make informed decisions about economic development, social services, and housing policy. However, it's essential to acknowledge that AMI can be subject to criticism and debate, as it may not accurately reflect the needs of all residents within a given area.


In addition to determining eligibility for housing assistance programs, AMI is also used to assess affordability for other services. For instance, AMI assesses the affordability of childcare services and programs. Local governments also use AMI to evaluate a region's economic health and determine funding allocations. AMI is an important financial tool used to assess a region's economic well-being. It determines eligibility for housing assistance programs and evaluates other services' affordability. Local governments also use it to assess a region's economic health and determine funding allocations.

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