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Affordable Housing

Housing is one of our most basic human needs. Everyone needs a place to live, regardless of age, job, race, disability, income or position in life. But not everyone is living in affordable housing.

Affordable Housing means different things to different people. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines “affordable housing” as housing which consumes no more than 30% of a household’s monthly income, including utilities. This is the maximum a family should spend. Generally, when families or individuals spend more than 30% of their income on housing they do not have enough income to weather financial setbacks or meet other basic needs such as food, clothing and medical insurance.

The 2008 area median income for a household of 4 in Henderson County is $52,500. HUD’s definition of income levels can be seen in the table below. HUD also defines fair market rent for an area. For a two-bedroom unit the fair market rent for Henderson County is $695. A low-income family would have to spend 66% of their monthly income for housing, instead of the suggested 30%, to be able to afford a two-bedroom unit in Henderson County.

Income Definition
Percent (%) of Area Median Income ($52,500)
Annual Income ($)
Monthly Income ($)
30 Percent of Monthly Income ($)
Fair Market Rent as a Percent (%) of Maximum Affordable Rent
>50 to 80
26,251 to 42,000
2,188 to 3,500
656 to 1,050
106% to 66%
Very low
>30 to 50
15,751 to 26,250
1,320 to 2,188
394 to 656
176% to 106%
Extremely low
0 to 15,750
0 to 1,320
0 to 394
176% or more

Source: Department of Housing and Urban Development 2008