Area Median Income for 2012 is available…already!

Typically the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) releases its Income Limits dataset in March or April, but this year the data has already been released for 2012 – and you can find it now on PolicyMap.

HUD is required by law to set annual income limits for participation in federally assisted housing programs such as Section 8. These income limits are determined by calculating a median family income for areas all across the country and then adjusting the median based on the number of people in the household. Different federal programs have different requirements, so PolicyMap displays various different income thresholds – ranging from 30% of area median income to 120% of area median income. You can find all this data under the Money & Income tab.

Recent updates to this dataset include:

  • In FY2010, HUD announced an end to its “hold harmless” policy. Until recently, income limits values could not be reduced, only increased over time or held steady. Now the income limits are able to increase or decrease up to 5% per year.
  • In FY2011, HUD began to calculate income limits based on American Community Survey (ACS) data.
  • In FY2012, the change is in the release date. Responding to requests to make this data available earlier, HUD will be releasing Income Limits in December for the following year. Because of the early release, AMI for 2012 is still based on ACS 2005-2009 data.

Meanwhile, PolicyMap is gearing up for our analysis and processing of the new ACS 2006-2010 5-year estimates data. We’ll be upgrading to the new 2010 Census boundaries as well. Keep a lookout in the new year!