HUD to Delay 2023 Income Limits

HUD normally publishes income limits on April 1. However, HUD recently announced that it intends to release the FY23 median family income and income limits on or about May 15, 2023, which is approximately six weeks later than normal.

The context: HUD annually calculates estimates of median family income for every area of the country. HUD uses income limits to define low-income status and resulting eligibility income limits that determine eligibility for various HUD-assisted housing programs including the Public Housing, Section 8 Project-Based, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, and Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities programs.

Eligibility for HUD programs is based on three income levels—extremely low income (less than 30 percent of the median family income), very low (less than 50 percent of the median family income), and low (less than 80 percent of the median family income). Those income limits are then adjusted according to family size and in areas with unusually high or low incomes relative to housing costs. From there, the limits are then used to determine eligibility for specific HUD programs.

Since FY 2011, HUD has based its median family income estimates on data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). Since FY 2012, there has been a three-year lag between the ACS estimates and the fiscal year for which the income limits are in effect. For example, the FY 2022 median family incomes and income limits were based on the ACS 2019 data. On July 29, 2021, the Census Bureau announced that it would not release standard one-year estimates from the 2020 ACS because of the impacts of the COVID–19 pandemic on data collection.

What you need to know: Because of the pandemic, HUD will use 2021 ACS data to determine FY23 median family incomes and income limits. Owners will have to wait until May 15, 2023, for the new limits. The income limits become effective immediately upon release. Income limits are considered only at move-in and, in very limited cases, at the initial certification [HUD Handbook 4350.3, par. 3-4].