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Affordable Housing definitions and further information

Housing affordability is based on the purchasing power of household income. It is calculated on the HUD Area Median Household Income (AMI). In Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 the AMI was $85,400 and in FY 2005 the AMI is $89,300. The AMI is updated annually.

In Montgomery County, Maryland, there are many affordable housing initiatives, both for rental and for home-ownership. In fact, Montgomery County developed the nation's first Moderately-Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) program in the early 1970s.

In an on-going effort to monitor the impact of development on affordable housing stock, the Planning Department has begun to track the net gain or loss of the following three categories of affordable housing:

  • Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs) - MPDUs include rental and ownership units that serve households with incomes up to approximately 60 to 70% of the AMI. In 2005, the County Executive approved a new set of income guidelines for the MPDU program, and the new guidelines set different limits for purchases and for rentals. Households may qualify for the MPDU program if they earn between $40,000 and $68,000 annually, depending on household size and whether the household wants to rent or to own. The Planning Department used the new income limits to calculate approximate MPDU purchase prices and rents, and determined that, depending on household size, MPDU purchase prices will be between $146,667 and $226,667, assuming 10 percent down and good credit; and MPDU rents may range from $1,000 and $1,550 monthly. Developers build MPDUs as part of most residential development within the county, and nearly 80 percent of all MPDUs have been home-ownership units.
    Chart - 2005 - MPDU Income Guidelines (pdf)
  • Workforce Housing - Workforce housing can be either rental and ownership market housing units that are affordable to households with incomes from the MPDU income limit up to 120% AMI. As of January 2005, houses valued between $187,530 and $321,480 are assumed to be workforce housing.
  • Other affordable housing includes units affordable to households with incomes less than 60% of the AMI or units constructed, purchased, or rented with government assistance. This group of housing includes traditional subsidized housing programs.

The following chart lists the various programs available to Montgomery County residents, and includes the appropriate development review category.

County Housing Programs chart (pdf)