Important Information on Changes to Median Family Income Due to Rebenchmarking
The FY2003 Median Family Income Estimates have been re-benchmarked with 2000 Census data, resulting in an unusual number of increases and decreases in the figures presented. Income Limits have been frozen at last year's levels if they would have otherwise decreased due to decreases in income estimates.
The Income Estimates are calculated for metropolitan areas and non-metropolitan counties in the United States and its territories using the Fair Market Rent (FMR) area definitions used in the Section 8 program. While they are generally based on HUD estimates of Median Family Income, it is important to note that this is not always the case. The statute refers to 50 and 80 percent of area Median Family Income, but then provides modifications so that the terms often have no relationship to arithmetic values.
The FY2003 Income Limits Briefing Material explains the formulas used to calculate Income Limits and lists every metropolitan area where Income Limits are not based on Median Family Income amounts (Attachments 4 and 5).
The income estimates are used by local governments to determine applicants' eligibility for HUD's assisted housing programs, including the Public Housing program, the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments program, Section 202 housing for the elderly, and Section 811 housing for persons with disabilities.