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April 12, 2024



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Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) introduced the bicameral Affordable Housing and Area Median Income Fairness Act of 2024, a multi-pronged approach to confront some of the core challenges that have led to a severe lack of affordable housing in our nation’s urban areas. 

Nationwide, just under half of all renters face a rent burden exceeding 30% of their income, and almost 1 in 4 renters contribute more than 50% of their income to rent every single month. While many factors contribute to this crisis, Area Median Income (AMI) – a metric used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that is responsible for determining rent prices and income limits for affordable units – is particularly harmful due to its current calculation methods that exclude low-income families from the affordable housing intended for them. The Area Median Income Fairness Act of 2024 addresses these challenges by directing HUD to conduct an assessment of more inclusive calculation methods of the AMI, as well as to submit a report to Congress detailing its post-assessment findings and recommendations for reforming or eliminating the use of AMI. Additionally, the legislation authorizes $5 billion to various housing programs nationwide to combat these issues.

“For decades, far too many low-income families have been denied affordable housing on the basis of nothing beyond AMI – an undeniably flawed, woefully outdated, and needlessly exclusionary calculation. And no one is more affected by this shortcoming than communities of color,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “My legislation serves as a simple solution to a problem that continues to impact countless Americans. It’s time for Congress to take the necessary action to correct this metric and make affordable housing more accessible for the families who most need it.”

“The way area median income (AMI) is calculated is at the heart of how our federal government ensures access to affordable housing. This is why so many affordable housing advocates are calling for changes to an AMI formula that is holding our most vulnerable communities back by lumping them in with wealthier communities and skewing affordability metrics upwards,” said Congresswoman Tlaib. “The Affordable Housing and Area Median Income Fairness Act helps address the urgent need to develop more truly affordable housing by advancing more local AMI measures that will allow us to tailor our affordable housing policies to our diverse communities. 

“Affordable housing is becoming increasingly harder to find, and we must rethink how we help low-income and middle-class families find reasonable housing options,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Affordable Housing and Area Median Income Fairness Act works to address the core challenges that have led to this affordable housing shortage by changing how we approach calculating AMI. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this passed and expand housing options for low-income families in New York and across the country.”

The full text of the legislation is available here.