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HUD Announces 2012 Income Limits

Written by Erik Whitton, Spectrum Enterprises

In a move that shocked the world, HUD announced the 2012 income limits on November 30, 2011. The limits have an effective date of December 1, 2011 and must be implemented by all tax credit sites no later than January 14, 2012. The shocking aspect of this is the timing; new limits are not typically published until February/March or even as late as May 31 (for the 2011 limits).

Since the most recent income limits were announced May 31 and implemented by July 15 many affordable housing professionals are surprised at the timing of this announcement since the current limits have been in place for such a short period of time.

In a recent blog post (see #6) I was critical of HUD waiting until May 31 to announce income limits. I personally applaud this latest move by HUD. If a site can enter the new year knowing what their income limits and corresponding rent limits are that makes it much easier to complete budgets and plan for rent increases. The new year is always a great time to make any needed changes such as changes to the tenant selection criteria or media advertising that may list the income restrictions.

As I have started to work with some sites across the country I have found that many areas have had an increase in their income limits. This, too, is good news as it expands the pool of applicants who can live in affordable units. Additionally, since all SS and SSI recipients are receiving a 3.6% cost of living adjustment for 2012 the income limit increase comes at a good time as we may not need to see retired seniors or people with disabilities denied affordable housing because they are getting their first benefit increase in 2 years.

My advice to all housing professionals is to immediately check for an increase for your sites. If the income limits in your area have increased go back through any files denied over the past few months to see if any slightly over income households may qualify under the new limits.

To find your 2012 income limits visit this site (and make sure to bookmark it!): http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/mtsp.html

  • Choose FY2012 MTSP Income Limit Documentation System then click on the grey button on the next page.
  • On the next page choose your state and then your county or city.


  • The result will look something like this:

  • Depending on the place in service date for your project you will use either the HERA special limits (top chart) or the FY (Fiscal Year) limits on the bottom chart.

HUD provides the 50% and 60% income limits. HUD does not provide rent limits or limits for lower set asides such as 40%. Spectrum has created an Excel spreadsheet to accomplish this.

After you download the spreadsheet you can enter the placed in service date for your project; the State; the city/town/county; and then you enter the 50% income limits from the HUD page into the yellow shaded line in the spreadsheet. Formulas written into the spreadsheet will calculate the 40% and 60% income limits along with all corresponding gross rent limits.

As a final note, we always suggest updating your utility allowances at the beginning of the year or when new income limits are published.

For any questions about this spreadsheet or anything else related to 2012 income limits please contact our staff.

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