The concept of affordable housing is complicated and multi-dimensional. Its central principal is that a community’s housing stock should align with the economic status of people seeking housing. Ideally, people at every income bracket will find a selection of housing options that answer their needs but do not demand so much of their income that it limits the household’s ability to obtain other necessities.


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Income-Qualified Housing refers to housing affordability for households making less than 80% of the area median income. The area median income (AMI) is the household income for the median, or middle, household in a region.  

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A property, unit or voucher that is “income-qualified” receives some level of financial assistance to maintain affordability for households making less than 80% AMI,
while keeping up with maintenance and other expenses. This financial assistance is provided either at the time of development (via tax credits to the developer) or as ongoing subsidy payments. In either case, affordability requirements or subsidies have expiration dates based on individual contracts with the federal government. The purpose of this paper is to explain the different types of assistance and, quantify the availability of income-qualified housing units and compare that to the need of such units in McLean County.

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