On December 1, HUD released the FY12 Income Limits and Median Family Income (MFI) estimates. These data are used to determine the eligibility of applicants for assisted housing programs. HUD responded to public requests to set a fixed publication date for these data by setting an annual publication date of December 1.
In FY11, HUD began using five-year American Community Survey (ACS) data instead of 2000 Decennial Census data in determining MFIs. New five-year ACS data have not been released as of December 1, so HUD used the same five year (2005-2009) ACS data as the basis for developing the FY12 MFIs.
Therefore, the only change from the FY11 to FY12 MFIs is that new Consumer Price Index (CPI) data were used to update the MFIs through 2010. A 3% annual trend factor, unchanged from last year, was then used to update the estimates through the midpoint of 2012.
HUD’s Income Limits are based on the MFIs, and are adjusted for family size and for areas with unusually high or low housing costs. Very low income limits for four-person families are the most well-defined income limits, and form the basis of most other income limits. Annual increases and decreases to Income Limits are capped at 5% or twice the change in the national MFI, whichever is greater. The very low income limit for a four person household rose, on average, 1.7% between FY11 and FY12.
For FY12, the estimated MFI for the United States is $65,000. Between FY11 and FY12, the MFI rose, on average, 1.4%.
The FY12 Income Limits and MFIs are available via an online documentation system at: http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/il/il12/index.html