All About Area Median Income

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The Area Median Income (AMI) calculation governs everything that affordable housing leasing agents do, and knowing your approximate AMI level can help you understand what units you are eligible to rent.

AMI is the sum of all the income your household receives over the year, divided by a number that is based on how many people are a part of your household. If you would like a video explainer, click here for it in English, and here for the video in Spanish. More about how the Area Median Income is determined is available in our fact sheet, including how the 80% AMI has specific adjustments; you can see it at the bottom of this page or download a PDF version of it here: About AMI 2023

We have provided the following AMI Estimator to help you gain a better understanding of how this could work for your household. This calculator will only work for the Washington, D.C. metro AMI. If you’re from a different part of the United States, you can learn how the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) calculates your AMI by clicking here. 

The following definitions will help you through the process:

  • Household Size: The number of people (children and adults) who live at the same address. They do not have to be related.
  • Annual Income: The amount of money received in wages or salary from employment every year. Provide the amount earned before taxes (the “gross amount”).
    • Income also includes anything that you receive as benefits paid to any adult or any child in your household – Veterans’ Benefits, pensions, unemployment pay, alimony/child support, gifts, Social Security/SSI, etc.
    • Do not include money from SNAP.
    • Do not include the money earned from jobs worked by children under 18.
AMI Calculator

2023 Washington D.C. Metro AMI Estimator

This AMI estimator is provided for educational purposes only. It is not a definitive assessment of your household income. Household income must be certified by our leasing teams before you can sign a lease for an income-restricted unit.

When entering in annual income, use only numbers. (For example: write “50000” instead of $50,000)

100% AMI (D.C. Metro Area for your household size, 2023):

Total Household Income:

Your Household’s ESTIMATED AMI Level:

“Affordable” covers a wide range of incomes.

Alexandria is inside one of the most expensive metro regions in the United States, and many people are shocked to find out that the Area Median Income for a single-person household is over six figures. The 60% AMI threshold – our most common type of unit – covers those with professions like librarian, mental health professional, barista, school bus driver, firefighter, dental receptionist, Capitol Hill intern, home healthcare aide, and more.


AMI Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: I’ve heard that 80% AMI is not actually mathematically 80%?

Answer: It depends. Certain affordable housing programs will sometimes use the HUD-adjusted the threshold for an “80% AMI unit”. This adjustment is intended to bring the regional/local 80% AMI threshold closer to the national level for very high cost of living areas. Other programs may not be subject to these requirements and use the mathematical 80% limit instead. It’s important to know how each individual housing property defines it’s 80% AMI income level when looking to rent, lease, or own.

Question: What if I’m about to add a child to our family?

Answer: Use the household size that you think you will be upon signing a lease or contract. A leasing team agent can advise you further.

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