There are many levels to the Affordable Housing terms that are used. Many folks I speak to confuse them and do not understand the varying levels. Each year the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets income limits that determine eligibility for assisted housing programs including Public Housing, Section 8 project-based housing and more. These limits are based on the median family income estimates and Fair Market Rent area definitions for each metropolitan area, parts of some metro areas and county.
The first number you need to understand all of this is the Median Income. For 2018, this number for Monroe County is $84,400. If you want to know how they got this number, click here. Now that we have the Median Income number, we need to look at the different levels of need that people fall into based on their family incomes.
Download a copy here. 2018 HUD numbers PDF
You can see that there are six (6) categories ranging from Extremely Low income (30% of the median) to Middle Income (160% of the median). It’s good to understand that the 160% only applies to Marathon. Monroe County only uses up to 120%.
There are many restrictions that are put on Affordable Housing properties. Not all properties fall into the same category. I have heard some folks wonder at the higher prices of some properties that are deed restricted. Those properties are built to help folks at the higher income brackets such as Moderate (120%) or Middle (160%). There are many thought processes that go into it. Each area has a little discretion in how they can and will make their rules but they must all meet the Federal requirements at a minimum. You can find these standards here at HUD.gov.
The median income also sets the maximum sales price that a home can sell for with an Affordable Housing Deed Restriction. The current maximum sales price for an Affordable Housing deed restricted home is $405,120. This is calculated by multiplying the median income by 1.6 and then multiplying that by 3. The City and County both require income verification prior to any sale closing and occupancy of the property. The Affordable Housing application must be completed. For more information, contact the Planning Department for the City of Marathon or Monroe County.
Earlier today, a gentleman thought that the HUD limits meant that these were HUD Homes, which are foreclosures owned by the Federal Government and sold due to low market value. This is not the case at all. The Deed Restrictions are held by the City or County and are intended to maintain the affordability of the home for a set amount of time. There have been varying levels for these restrictions, in the early times of the City, they were restricted for 20 years. In the times since, that has been extended to 50 years and now is being talked about going to 99 years and potentially renewing upon sale, although that has not been implemented as yet as far as I know.