2018 Affordability Limits for Ownership and Rental Housing

Livable Communities Act Grants

What is affordable housing?

The Metropolitan Council's 2040 Housing Policy Plan defines affordable housing as housing that is affordable to low- and moderate-income families.
 

Who qualifies for affordable housing?

For 2018, the affordability limit is 80% of the area median income for both rental and ownership housing. In 2018, the area median income (AMI) for a household of four is $94,300. Under these limits, a family of four can earn up to $71,900 to qualify for affordable housing. For details on how this is calculated, see the History of Median Income, below. 
 

To implement the Livable Communities Act in 2018, the Council will use the following amounts as the upper limits for affordable rental and ownership housing.

 

Rental housing

Rents include tenant-paid utilities. 
 
2018 Rental Housing
# Bedrooms 30% AMI 50% AMI 60% AMI 80% AMI
Efficiency $495 $826 $991 $1,321
1 Bedroom $531 $885 $1,062 $1,416
2 Bedrooms $636 $1,061 $1,273 $1,697
3 Bedrooms $735 $1,226 $1,471 $1,961
4 Bedroom $820 $1,367 $1,640 $2,187
 

Ownership housing

For owner-occupied housing, the income limit includes principal, interest, property taxes and home insurance.

Assumptions include:
  • Fixed-interest, 30-year home loan
  • Interest rate of 5.125%
  • A 29% housing debt-to-household income ratio
  • A 3.5% down payment
  • A property tax rate of 1.25% of the property sales price
  • Mortgage insurance at 0.85% of unpaid principal
  • $100/month for hazard insurance
2018 Home Ownership
Household Income Level Affordable Home Price
80% AMI ($71,900) $234,500
60% AMI ($56,580) $181,500
50% AMI ($47,150) $149,000
30% AMI ($28,300) $83,500

In 2018, applying an interest rate of 5.125% on a 30-year fixed-rate home loan and the standard mortgage assumptions listed above to the 80% AMI amount for a family of four ($71,900) yields an affordable purchase price of $234,500. This compares to a 2017 limit of $236,500 and a 2016 limit of $235,000.  Rising mortgage interest rates have prevented the affordable purchase prices from increasing in tandem with Area Median Income.
 

History of area median income

Through 2010, the Council identified a purchase price ceiling for owner-occupied homes based on what a family of four with an income at or below 80% AMI could afford at prevailing interest rates. For affordable rental units, the limit was maximum monthly rents affordable for households at 50% AMI.

From 2011 through 2014, the Council used 60% AMI as the income limit for both rental and ownership costs. 

This level was consistent with the funding criteria preference adopted by the Metropolitan Housing Implementation Group (MHIG) in 2001 and was a commonly-used threshold for affordability in federal, state, and local housing programs. 

The table below lists the household incomes at the current and previous levels of area median income, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Please note that due to constraints and adjustments used in HUD’s calculations, the income limits shown here do not necessarily equal the area median income multiplied by the given percentage. 
 
HUD's Area Median Income for a family of four for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area
   
             AMI
2018 2017 2016
Area Median Income $94,300 $90,400 $85,800
80% of Area Median Income $71,900* $68,000* $65,700*
60% of Area Median Income $56,580 $54,240 $51,480
50% of Area Median Income $47,150 $45,200 $42,900
30% of Area Median Income $28,300 $27,100 $25,750

    *The 80% of Area Median Income limit is capped at the U.S. national median family income