Area Median Income and Rent Limits for Affordable Housing

Government agencies use these rent and income limits to determine eligibility for different housing programs.

Date Posted: August 31st, 2018 @ 3:44 PM
Last Updated: August 30th, 2021 @ 12:52 PM

Guidance for Tenant Recertification Procedures During the COVID-19 Emergency: If you are a property owner of City-assisted affordable housing properties and seeking guidance for tenant recertification procedures during the COVID-19 emergency, please click here to read the memo for procedures through September 30, 2021.

Effective August 13, 2021, owners and residents of City-assisted affordable rental and homeownership projects should refer to the income and rent limits published by the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development and HUD.


To determine income eligibility for all non-HOME units restricted to Extremely Low, Very Low, Low, and Moderate Income households, please refer to the latest Official State Income Limits chart for Alameda County published by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, available here. For all HOME units, please refer to the applicable maximum income schedules for the HOME program applicable to the Oakland area, also available here. Use the appropriate income limit applicable to the actual number of persons in the tenant household.

To determine income eligibility for units restricted to thresholds in between the applicable limits for Extremely Low, Very Low, and Low Income households, apply the following adjustments:

20% of AMI

Multiply applicable Extremely Low Income limit times .4

35% of AMI

Multiply applicable Very Low Income limit times .7

40% of AMI

Multiply applicable Very Low Income limit times .8

60% of AMI

Multiply applicable Low Income limit times .75


To determine affordable rent limits for all non-HOME units, refer to California Health & Safety Code Section 50053. Use benchmark household size (see below), and multiply against applicable percentages defined in Section 50053 using the Median Income numbers for Alameda County identified in the latest chart published by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. (For Low Income households with incomes between 60 percent and 80 percent of Area Median Income, please refer to your regulatory agreement for the appropriate rule for determining rents, per Section 50053(b)(3).


For projects with no federal assistance, benchmark household size should be set at the number of bedrooms in the unit plus one (irrespective of the actual household size of the tenant household). For projects with federal assistance, household size should be set by multiplying 1.5 by the number of bedrooms in the unit.


Sponsors may use the utility allowances under the federal Section 8 program as published by the Oakland Housing Authority, or sponsors may present documentation substantiating other figures, subject to review and approval of such documentation and its underlying methodology by the City. Any mandatory ongoing costs required by sponsors in connection with tenancy, such as renter’s insurance, shall be treated as utilities.


Please refer to California Health & Safety Code Section 50052.5 to determine the appropriate affordable housing cost for City-assisted Below Market Rate homeownership units.

Section 8 Utility & Appliance Allowances

The Oakland Housing Authority sets utility allowances for the Section 8 rental assistance program and for the City's affordable housing program. Rent limits for subsidized housing must be adjusted downward if the tenant pays utilities. Use these charts to determine the appropriate allowance, depending on which utilities are paid by tenants.