Affordability: the extent to which enough rental housing units of different costs can provide each renter household with a unit it can afford (based on the 30-percent-of-income standard).

Affordable Housing: In general, housing for which the occupant(s) is/are paying no more than 30 percent of his or her income for gross housing costs, including utilities. Please note that some jurisdictions may define affordable housing based on other, locally determined criteria, and that this definition is intended solely as an approximate guideline or general rule of thumb.

Area Median Income (AMI): The area median income (AMI) is a statistic generated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for purposes of determining the eligibility of applicants for certain federal housing programs. HUD determines AMI on an annual basis for each metropolitan area and non-metropolitan county, making adjustments for household size and other factors.

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): Created under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, this program provides grant funds to local and state governments to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing with a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities to assist low- and moderate-income residents. CDBG replaced several categorical grant programs, such as the Model Cities program, the Urban Renewal program, and the Housing Rehabilitation Loan and Grant program.

Fair Market Rent (FMR): Primarily used to determine payment standard amounts for the Housing Choice Voucher program, to determine initial renewal rents for some expiring project-based Section 8 contracts, to determine initial rents for housing assistance payment contracts in the Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program, and to serve as a rent ceiling in the HOME rental assistance program.

The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME): Provides formula grants to states and localities that communities use — often in partnership with local nonprofit groups — to fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership, or to provide direct rental assistance to low-income people.

Household: All the people who occupy a housing unit. A household includes the related family members and all the unrelated people, if any, such as lodgers, foster children, wards, or employees who share the housing unit. A person living alone in a housing unit, or a group of unrelated people sharing a housing unit such as partners or roomers, is also counted as a household.

Housing Affordability Index: The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® affordability index measures whether or not a typical family could qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home. A typical home is defined as the national median-priced, existing single-family home as calculated by NAR. The typical family is defined as one earning the median family income as reported by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Housing Finance Agency (HFA): State or local agencies responsible for financing and preserving low- and moderate-income housing within a state.

Income Limits: Determines the eligibility of applicants for HUD's assisted housing programs. The major active assisted housing programs are the Public Housing program, the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments program, Section 202 housing for the elderly, and Section 811 housing for persons with disabilities.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit: A tax incentive intended to increase the availability of low-income housing. The program provides an income tax credit to owners of newly constructed or substantially rehabilitated low-income rental housing projects.

Market Area: A large population nucleus, together with adjacent communities that has a high degree of economic and social integration with that nucleus.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): An area with at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core, as measured by commuting ties.

Moderate Income: Households whose incomes are between 81 percent and 95 percent of the median income for the area, as determined by HUD, with adjustments for smaller or larger families. HUD may establish income ceilings higher or lower than 95 percent of the median for the area on the basis of HUD's findings that such variations are necessary because of prevailing levels of construction costs, fair market rents, or unusually high or low family incomes.

Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area: An area that qualifies as a metropolitan statistical area has a census population of 1 million or more; two or more PMSAs may be designated within it if they meet published official standards and local opinion favors the designation.

Public Housing Agency: Any state, county, municipality, or other governmental entity or public body, or agency or instrumentality of these entities that is authorized to engage or assist in the development or operation of low-income housing under the U.S. Housing Act of 1937

Qualified Census Tract (QCT): Any census tract (or equivalent geographic area defined by the Census Bureau) in which at least 50 percent of households have an income less than 60 percent of the area median gross income or have a poverty rate of at least 25 percent.

Very Low Income: Households whose incomes do not exceed 50 percent of the median area income for the area, as determined by HUD, with adjustments for smaller and larger families and for areas with unusually high or low incomes or where needed because of facility, college, or other training facility; prevailing levels of construction costs; or fair market rents

Zoning: The classification of land by types of uses permitted and prohibited in a given district, and by densities and intensities permitted and prohibited, including regulations regarding building location on lots.

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