What is Affordable Housing?

In broad terms, affordability is simply the relationship between housing costs and income. The generally accepted measure for housing affordability is spending less than 33% of one’s gross household income on housing costs (including utilities, principle, and interest). Oftentimes, the term workforce housing is also used to describe affordable housing.

In the context of Housing Elements, affordable housing generally focuses on housing for extremely low, very low, low and moderate-income households, but may also address housing for above moderate-income households and are defined as follows:

  • Extremely low income:  0-30% of Area Mean Income (AMI)
  • Very low income:  31% to 50% of AMI
  • Low income:  51% to 80% of AMI
  • Moderate income:  81% to 120% of AMI
  • Middle income : 121% to 140% AMI
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