HUD Issues Income Limits for Fiscal Year 2022
On April 18, HUD issued the fiscal year 2022 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. The income limits became effective immediately and can be found at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il.html.
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.
According to HUD, the FY 2022 national median income is $90,000, a 12.5 percent increase over 2021. Because HUD caps income limit increases at twice the change in the national median income, the average change nationally is a 10.5 percent increase. And among the 2,602 areas for which HUD publishes limits, less than 1 percent will have a decrease and only one area has no change. The remaining areas will see increases.
How Income Limits Are Calculated
Increasing income limits will be helpful to families who are receiving pay increases, whether related to minimum wage increases across the country or other income adjustments. As income limits increase, more people will be able to qualify for affordable housing. And more people qualifying will increase the demand for affordable housing, which is beneficial to property owners, but puts even more strain on those looking for affordable housing.
This year's limits are calculated using historical data from the 2019 American Community Survey. This data was collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. HUD also uses the Consumer Price Index (CPI) forecast published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). This year's income limit increases are partly the result of CPI increasing at a rapid pace.
Use New Income Limits for New Certifications
All new certifications effective April 18 or later will include the new income limits. Managers should remember that income limits are considered only at move-in and, in very limited cases, at the initial certification [HUD Handbook 4350.3, par. 3-4]. Income limit changes don’t affect current residents’ eligibility for the HUD Multifamily Housing programs (Section 8, PRAC, etc.) when that resident is already receiving subsidy/housing assistance.
If you’ve already extended a unit offer and your new resident’s income exceeds the new income limit, you can still honor that move-in. According to HUD’s RHIIP ListServ #293, if a unit becomes available and an applicant is selected from the waiting list, is processed for eligibility, and meets all eligibility requirements at the time of processing, the applicant is eligible to move into the unit even if new income limits have been published. If this situation applies, be sure to document the household file appropriately.