Who Qualifies for AHO Housing?
[UPDATED: to reflect new June 28, 2019 HUD AMI Data] The housing in the proposed Affordable Housing Overlay (AHO) is intended primarily for low income residents, those earning c.$54,800 ($63,450) annual salary for one person, or 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) according to June 20, 2019 CDD documents for the AHO.* For initial occupancy at least 80% of the occupants must be at or below 80% of AMI (1-person earning $54,800 or less). All the remainder must be less than 100% AMI (1-person: $68,500).** Most of these tenants will be near this 80% AMI target, since Section 8 housing is in place for lower income thresholds (e.g. 30% AMI identifies as being “extremely low income” or 50% AMI identified as being “very low income.”
Housing financial numbers published by HUD June 28, 2019 after the CDD report was published on June 20, raises the city's 80% AMI salary to $63,450.*** This same document identifies the City's 50% AMI (for inclusionary) as $39,650; HUD 50% AMI (for CHA Housing Choice Voucher) as $41,500 and the City's 100% of AMI (Homeownership resale Pool and Homebridge ) number as $79.300. These new salaries are indicated in parentheses in the examples below.
What do these salary numbers really indicate? Like the term "affordable housing," median salaries resemble pizza dough, they can be stretched or contracted to meet pretty much any set of desires or needs. And like pizza everyone likes affordable housing. The same kind of malleability also is true with terms such as middle Income. An Article in the November14, 2018 Business Insider identifies Boston as having a "Middle-Class" salary range of $57,127 to $171,382. The Boston median income is listed in this source as $85,691, considerably higher than the HUD or CDD AMI salary of $54,800 ($64,450) on which the City's Affordable Housing salary determinations will be made.
Who will find housing here in the new AHO units? Some of these people will be individuals in need who do NOT live in Cambridge or even Massachusetts because as a recipient of Federal Funding, these projects must advertise nationally for residents. The current list is some 19,000 people long. Those Cambridge residents who make too little money also will not qualify for this funding, e.g. those between 0 and 50% AMI. In short Very VERY few current residents will qualify and benefit from this very expensive and deeply flawed proposal.
LET’S PLAY A GAME …
to see which professions in the city will do OK by the radical city-wide up-zoning and massive expenditure of tax-payer money.
Go to Salary.Com to explore other average Cambridge salaries (as of June 27, 2019). Who would qualify for this - and for how long?
HOW DO YOU FARE?
HOW DO OTHER PEOPLE YOU KNOW FARE?
IS THIS PLAN WORTH THE CITY PAYING $500,000 OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS
There are many far better, smarter, and more effective ways to add more affordable housing here, and as you know, Cambridge is already way ahead of state mandates for this.
*The city of Cambridge will calculate income level eligibility for these proposed AHO Dwelling Units:
(i) The gross household income of an AHO Eligible Household upon initial occupancy shall be no more than one-hundred percent (100%) of AMI.
(ii) At least eighty percent (80%) of AHO Dwelling Units shall be occupied by AHO Eligible Households whose gross household income upon initial occupancy is no more than eighty percent (80%) of AMI.
**What the city’s AMI percentages mean in terms of actual salaries:
HUD 80% AMI 1-person: $45,500; 2-person: $52,000; 3-persons: $58,500; 4-persons $65,000
Income limit for most affordable housing programs
City 80% AMI 1-person: $54,800; 2-persons: $62,640. Ami; 3-persons: $70,480 AMI, 4-
persons $78,240. Income limit for City Inclusionary Housing program
100% AMI 1-person: $68,500; 2-persons $78,300; 3-persons $88,100; 4-persons $97,800
Income limit for FTHB Financial Assistance program
120%AMI 1-person: $82,200; 2-persons: $93,960; 3-persons: $105,720; 4-persons: $117,360
Income limit for existing City middle-income homeownership units.
***2019 HUD Income Limits, Cambridge MA. CDD and HUD Average Median Income (AMI) Numbers June 28, 2019
City 50% AMI (for inclusionary) $39,650
HUD 50% AMI (for CHA Housing Choice Voucher) $41,500
HUD 80% of Median (most private and non-profit affordable housing) $62,450
City 80% AMI (Middle Income and inclusionary rental housing program) $63,450
100% of AMI (Homeownership resale Pool and Homebridge ) $79.300
City 120% of Median (Home Improvement program; Middle income rental program) $95,150
Above are HUD and City AMI data from June 28 Report. Below are HUD AMI data from CDD's June 20 report