What are the Income Limits?

All affordable housing programs have eligibility restrictions based on household income. The most common restriction is the 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) which is sometimes referred to as the low-income limit, or sometimes the low and moderate income limit. HUD publishes income limits annually.

In the RHSO communities, the area is the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy HUD Metropolitan Area (HMFA). In terms of reading the annual chart, HUD titles Low-Income as 80% of AMI, Very Low Income Line as 50% of AMI and the Extr (Extremely) Low Income as 30% of AMI. [Note that the 80% and 50% figures are not arithmetically derived from the 100% figure - use them with caution!]  The HUD chart lists the 100% Area Median Income for a household of 4 on the left next to the year label.  The 100% of median number would be used to calculate income limits for homeownership that are not found on the chart, for example, 90% or 120% of median income. The RHSO has prepared a spreadsheet available here that provides more detailed information about the income limits, and includes standard gross rents.

2023 Income Limits - Boston Cambridge-Quincy MSA
 1 Person2 Person3 Person4 Person5 Person6 Person
Very Low Income 50%





Low Income 80%





Area Median Income 100%







What are the Rent Limits?

HUD is also required by law to set Fair Market Rents (FMRs) every year, which go into effect on October 1st. FMRs are an estimate of the amount of money that would cover gross rents (rent and utility expenses) on 40 percent of the rental housing units in an area. FMRs are used in several HUD programs, including determining the maximum amount a Housing Choice Voucher will cover.

In RHSO communities, the FMRs are factored in when determining the maximum rent standard for some rental assistance programs. The payment standard for RHSO communities with Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) programs is the the greater of the current Fair Market Rent (FMR), EOHLC/ LIP 80% rent or MassHousing 40b affordable rents.

FY 2024 FMRs By Unit Bedrooms - Effective October 1, 2023
YearEfficiency1 Bedrooom2 Bedroom3 Bedroom4 Bedroom
FY 2024$2,212$2,377$2,827$3,418$3,765
TBRA Payment Standard - Effective October 1, 2023
 1 Bedroom2 Bedroom3 Bedroom4 Bedroom
LIP/EOHLC 80% Rents$2,370$2,666$2,961$3,198
Masshousing 40B$2,221$2,666$3,080$3,436
FMR FY 2024$2,377$2,827$3,418$3,765
TBRA Payment Standard$2,377$2,827$3,418$3,765