By Lauri Strauss and Maggie Lee
When discussing affordable housing, we often hear the term AMI. What is AMI and what does it have to do with affordable housing?
The Area Median Income (AMI), also referred to as the Median Family Income, is the midpoint of the average level of income households earn in a region. Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets the AMI for regions around the country and uses this information to determine who should be eligible for affordable housing. Because AMI is the median range, half of the households in the area will earn more than the AMI and the other half will earn less. Households that earn less than 80 percent of the AMI are considered low-income. Households that earn less than 50 percent are very low-income and those earning less than 30 percent are extremely low-income according to HUD’s definitions. Households that earn less than 80 percent of the AMI may be eligible to receive financial assistance for housing.
According to the Atlanta Regional Commission and Neighborhood Nexis, Atlanta’s AMI is determined by the average family income in Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Roswell, but the AMI region encompasses the 24 county area: Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding, and Walton.
The below graphic provides more details on what the AMI means for families of different sizes in Georgia.
Sources for this article and other information on AMI:
Atlanta Beltline: Affordable Housing: Area Median Income and What it Means