Some of the most common terms that you come across when searching for apartments are – Section 8 housing, low-income apartments, affordable housing, etc. While we have heard of these terms frequently, there is more to the meaning of affordable housing. Moreover, one has to meet some qualification parameters to get a low-income apartment. The primary term that one has to be aware of on their low-income housing search is AMI or Area Median Income. It is a measurement that determines the amount of rent that you can afford for an apartment. It is based on the location you live in and other local parameters. The HUD sends out an annual AMI determination report for each region in all counties. Once the median income is determined, all households that earn below 80% of the listed amount are considered as low-income households. Those families with less than 50% of that amount fall under the very low-income category, and those earning less than 30% fall under the extremely low-income category.
Out of your whole income, your rent amount should not be more than 30% of it. Let’s say the average income is around $80,000 in your area, and you make only $35000 annually; in such a case, you would qualify for low-income apartment rental schemes that will help you and ensure that your rental costs are covered within 30% of your income. However, there are more qualification parameters that one needs to consider. The income cannot be too low or too high above the line. Only people whose income is within the stated parameters will qualify for these schemes.
One common fear for those who seek out low-income apartments is to how these affordable housing structures look like and what condition are they in. Every developer receives perks in the form of low-income housing tax credits that can help them save on their taxes by setting aside a small percentage of housing units exclusively for low-income families. The developers are required to ensure that the rent stays within the affordable limit at all times, failing which they will lose their tax credits. Some exclusive public housing structures only have low-income apartments for rent. A simple way to hunt down these types of houses is to inquire with the management offices of the different housing developers in your area. They are sure to provide you with the required help.