FY 2008 Income
Limits
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is my income limit unchanged from last year?
A: Income limits may be unchanged from last year either because area incomes or other factors governing local income limits did not increase or because income limits would otherwise be lower but have been administratively frozen rather than allowed to decrease. HUD has in the past selectively frozen income limits in instances where a reduction resulted from changes in income estimates, income estimation methodology, or income limit methodology.
2. Why did some area median family income (MFI) estimates decrease in FY2008 even though the OMB definition of the area did not change?
A: Some area median family incomes changed because incomes are falling in the area. The FY 2008 MFI estimation relies on 2006 American Community Survey (ACS) data as well as 2006 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) wage data. The manner in which the ACS data are used depends on the type of data available, which differs by place size. Local ACS MFI estimates are available for areas with populations of 65,000 or more, but the statistical reliability of these estimates differs. When local MFI estimates are available, HUD MFI estimates are based partly on local ACS estimates and partly on statelevel ACS estimates. The higher the statistical reliability of local estimates, the more heavily they are used. Local ACS MFI estimates are used in inverse proportion to the size of their margins of error (the numbers computed by adding and subtracting the published margins of error, or MoEs, from the median family income estimates form the "90 percent confidence intervals" for the estimates. There is a 90 percent probability that any random sample of the same size from the population will yield an estimate of the median family income in this range).
In practice, estimates for areas with small MoEs are almost entirely based on local ACS estimates but, where MoEs are large, statelevel estimates more heavily influence results. For areas without local ACS estimates, update factors are generated using a combination of statelevel 2000 Census to 2006 ACS MFI change and local area BLS wage change data. All estimates are then updated from December 2006 to April 2008 using a trend factor of 3.5 percent, which reflects the average annual change in median income from 1990 to 2000.
Due to several factors, ACS income estimates are known to be lower than those generated from the 2000 decennial Census when both are inflated to the same point in time. For additional details concerning the use of the ACS in HUD's calculations of Median Family Income, please see our FY 2008 Income Limits Briefing Materials, Attachment 2 (pages 15  18) which can be found at the following web address: http://www.huduser.org/datasets/il/il08/IncomeLimitsBriefingMaterial.pdf. Additionally, full documentation of all calculations for Median Family Income and Income Limits is available in our FY 2008 Income Limits Documentation System. This system is available at this web address: http://www.huduser.org/datasets/il/il2008_docsys.html.
3. Why did the area definitions change for the income limits and median family income estimates?
A: The area definitions used for income limits and median family income estimates follow the areas determined for the Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for that fiscal year. The definition of only a few areas changed in FY 2008 compared with FY 2007. These changes were due to changes published by OMB promoting two Micropolitan Statistical Areas to Metropolitan Statistical Areas (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/bulletins/fy2007/b0701.pdf).
HUD uses FMR areas in calculating income limits because FMRs are used in the calculation of certain income limits and the two sets of definitions are linked in statutory history. For a complete description of the area definitions a used in the FY 2008 Income Limits, please review the FY 2008 Income Limits Area Definitions report: http://www.huduser.org/intercept.asp?loc=/datasets/il/il08/Area_Definitions_Report.pdf.
4.Why does my very lowincome limit not equal 50% of my median family income (MFI) (or my low income limit not equal 80% of my MFI)?
A: There are many exceptions to the arithmetic calculation of income limits. These include adjustments for high housing cost relative to income, the application of state nonmetropolitan income limits in lowincome areas, and national maximums in highincome areas. These exceptions are detailed in the FY 2008 Income Limits Briefing Material report. Please review this report and pay special attention to Attachments 3 and 4 (beginning on page 19) that list the exceptions for metropolitan areas. Please also note that Tables 1 and 2 (beginning on page 5) show that most nonmetropolitan area income limits are based on state nonmetropolitan area medians.
For further information on the exact adjustments made to any area of the country, please see our FY 2008 Income Limits Documentation System. The documentation system is available at: http://www.huduser.org/datasets/il/il2008_docsys.html. Once the area in question is selected, a summary of the area’s median family income estimate, Very LowIncome, Extremely LowIncome, and LowIncome Limits are displayed. Detailed calculations are obtained by selecting the relevant links.
5.
What does the term "HMFA" mean?
A: HUD Metro FMR Area. This term indicates that only a portion of the OMBdefined corebased statistical area (CBSA) is in the area to which the income limits (or FMRs) apply. HUD is required by OMB to alter the name of metropolitan geographic entities it derives from the CBSAs when the geography is not the same as that established by OMB. See OMB’s bulletin establishing the current CBSA definitions at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/bulletins/fy2007/b0701.pdf.
6. How can you tell if the entire CBSA or just the subarea (SA) is used to calculate the income limits?
A: The FY 2008 Income Limits Area Definitions report places a "CBSA" in front of those areas where all counties in the CBSA are used in the calculation; an "SA" is placed in front of those areas where only the counties or towns of the subarea are used. Note that HUD Metro FMR Areas (HMFAs) are not the same as CBSAs, but that an HMFA's income limits may be based on CBSA data. To determine if income estimates are based on the subarea or CBSA income, please review the FY 2008 Income Limits Area Definitions report at: http://www.huduser.org/intercept.asp?loc=/datasets/il/il08/Area_Definitions_Report.pdf.
7. How can 60 percent income limits be calculated?
A: HUD recommends you take 120 percent of the Very Low Income Limit. Do not calculate income limit percentages based on a direct arithmetic relationship with the MFI; there are too many exceptions made to the arithmetic rule in computing income limits. For the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, Revenue Ruling 8924 states that "…40 percent of the applicable units must be occupied by individuals or families having incomes equal to 120 percent or less of the income limit for a very low income family of the same size."
8. How are Low Income Housing Tax Credit maximum rents computed from the very lowincome limits?
A: The imputed income limitation (as defined in 26USC Sec. 42(g)(2)) is 60 percent of the MFI. A rent may not exceed 30 percent of this imputed income limitation under 26USC Sec. 42(g)(2). Unit rents by number of bedrooms are derived from Very Low Income Limits (VLILs) for the different household sizes according to the following table:
LIHTC Maximum Rent Derivation from HUD VeryLow Income Limits (VLILs) 

Unit Size 
0 Bedroom 
1 Bedroom 
2 Bedroom 
3 Bedroom 
4 Bedroom 
50% MFI Unit Maximum Monthly Rent is 1/12 of 30% of: 
1Person VLIL 
(1Person VLIL + 2Person VLIL)/2 
3Person VLIL 
(4Person VLIL + 5Person VLIL)/2 
6Person VLIL 

60% MFI Unit Maximum Monthly Rent is 1/12 of 30% of: 
120% of 1Person VLIL 
120 % of [(1Person VLIL + 2Person VLIL)/2] 
120% of 3Person VLIL 
120 % of [(4Person VLIL + 5Person VLIL)/2] 
120 % of 6Person VLIL 
NOTE: Maximum rents for larger units are set by assuming an additional 1.5 persons per bedroom. 
9. What is the FY2008 State NonMetro Median Family Income and what are the associated income limits used for certain provisions of the Gulf Opportunity Zone (GO Zone) Act of 2005?
A: A. The FY 2008 State NonMetro Median Family Income is estimated to be $49,300. The 18 Person 50% Income Limits are as follows:
1 Person 
2 Person 
3 Person 
4 Person 
5 Person 
6 Person 
7 Person 
8 Person 
$17,250 
$19,700 
$22,200 
$24,650 
$26,600 
$28,600 
$30,550 
$32,550 
