Terms to Know

Affordable Housing
A broad term used to describe decent, safe housing which is affordable for individuals who, generally, earn less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
Area Median Income (AMI)
Refers to the household income level that occurs most often among households within a certain geographic area. A person's income is compared to the AMI to determine qualification for housing assistance from government housing programs.
Fair Market Rent (FMR)
This is the figure the PHA determines as the fair rental price for a specific rental unit. Under Section 8, a tenant may choose a unit with a higher rent than the FMR and pay the landlord the difference, or choose a lower cost unit and keep the difference.
Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
A HUD program which provides rental payment assistance to qualifying tenants. To make rents affordable, the PHA pays any rent which exceeds 30% of a tenant's adjusted monthly income. For example, if rent costs $500 per month and a tenant earns $1,000 per month, the tenant would pay $300 (30% of monthly income) and Section 8 would pay $200 (the difference between what the tenant can afford and what landlord charges).
HUD (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development)
The U.S. government agency responsible for delivering the vast majority of the nation's affordable housing programs.
HUD Section 8
Refers to the Housing Choice Voucher Program. See Housing Choice Voucher Program.
HUD Section 202 (Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program)
A HUD program that provides multifamily housing and rent subsidies for persons who are at least 62 years old at the time of initial occupancy and have a very low household income (50% below the AMI).
Low Income Housing
Broad term that describes housing designed for persons living below the Area Median Income (AMI). In general, "very low income" refers to households earning less than 50% of the AMI, "low income" refers to households earning less than 70% of the AMI, and "moderate income" refers to households earning less than 80% of the AMI.
Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)
The LIHTC Program provides incentive for individuals and corporations to invest in affordable housing. By investing in affordable housing, investors can save on their annual income tax liabilities. At the same time, the amount of debt that the developer has to take on is much lower, which allows the developer to charge lower rents.
Public Housing Authority (PHA)
Local government agencies that administer HUD programs and provides housing assistance to residents within a specific geographic area. Find out about Ohio's PHA.
Section 8 Rental Voucher Program
See Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Subsidized Housing
Describes housing that is financed in whole or in part with government funding. Sometimes referred to as Social Housing.
Tenant Certification
Refers to forms that a resident in an affordable housing community must complete on an annual or periodic basis disclosing all sources of income. The purpose of the certification is to assure that only those who meet the income restrictions of the housing receive the benefits of the housing.