Friday, April 20, 2018

Tag Archives: ami

How are Seniors Served by the Mayor’s Housing Plan?

How are Seniors Served by the Mayor’s Housing Plan?

Communities are paying close attention these days to exactly what kind of affordable housing is being promised to their neighborhood because they want to ensure that the housing is really meeting the greatest local and city need.  Over the last several weeks, ANHD has published analyses of the affordability levels of units created under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan and how they compare to the need of New York City residents.

Our newest analysis looks at Housing New York’s production of senior housing to see how affordability stacks up. We compare income levels of the senior population to those of New York City as a whole, and to the affordability of the units created by Housing New York so far. Here, we find that the de Blasio plan is doing an excellent job of building to the New York City senior population and income need.

While we find it important to understand need by comparing rent burden at different income levels to the affordability of new units, rent burden data specifically for New York City’s senior population is limited. Available data shows that New York City’s seniors are much lower-income than residents overall. 54% of seniors fall below the 30% AMI level*, versus 27% of all New Yorkers.

We found that the combination of Extremely Low Income and Very Low Income units exceeds the proportion of the senior population at those incomes. Overall, the affordability levels of senior units are a better match for the specific population versus Housing New York units overall, especially at the lowest income levels. At the same time, the total 4,627 senior units make up just 6% of all Housing New York units created so far.

As New York City’s population ages, the City must create housing that meets the need. A March 2017 report by the NYC Comptroller found that “the number of New Yorkers over 65 grew by 19.2 percent, which was more than double the rate of the total population (7.47 percent), and more than triple the rate of the population under 65.” Living on a fixed income makes truly affordable housing critically important.


*Note: to make this analysis possible, we treated seniors as one-person households
Sources: NYC OpenData, Housing New York Units by Building; Census PUMS 2015


Lucy Block, ANHD’s Research and Policy Associate
Graphic by: Melanie Breault, ANHD’s Communications Associate

The Updated AMI Cheat Sheet is Better Than Ever!

The Updated AMI Cheat Sheet is Better Than Ever!

We’ve Added Some Helpful Information For Our Groups and Now Other Areas Can Create Their Own Cheat Sheets


Our Area Median Income (AMI) Cheat Sheet was so helpful that the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) was contacted by nearly 10 jurisdictions outside of New York State who wanted to make their own local versions.

Since the AMI Cheat Sheet has gone from a handy dandy desk guide to a tool being used in offices, trainings, and community meetings throughout the City – and across the country – we’ve made some updates to both the methodology and the layout. Below is the updated 2017 AMI Cheat Sheet. This AMI Cheat Sheet gives you all the information you need in a clear, visual form, including the following for each AMI level:

  • Maximum income for a 3-person household
  • Maximum net affordable monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment
  • Percent of NYC households at each AMI level
  • Percent of NYC households in each AMI category

ANHD is excited about helping local residents understand what those AMI levels actually mean for their own communities. Understanding what each AMI level really means is critical for helping families qualify for affordable housing and for shaping policies and programs that address community needs.

Are you a jurisdiction that would like to make your own AMI Cheat Sheet? Send us an email here and we will send you a Cheat Sheet Toolkit.

And for our local ANHD partners, hard copies of your AMI Cheat Sheets will be in your mailboxes soon, so keep an eye out!

Click here to download your copy of the updated 2017 AMI Cheat Sheet!


Barika Williams, ANHD’s Deputy Director

Just in time for Spring! The AMI Cheat Sheet 2017 Edition

Just in time for Spring! The AMI Cheat Sheet 2017 Edition 

The Area Median Income (AMI) Cheat Sheet / Wallet Card You Always Wanted!


A lot of people are talking about affordable housing policy these days. And you can’t have a conversation about affordable housing policy without talking about Area Median Income (AMI) levels.

But what do those AMI levels actually mean? 30% of AMI, 60% of AMI, 120% of AMI?  Throwing those numbers around doesn’t make things clear for most people, unless you can translate that number into the rents and incomes everyone understands.

ANHD staff (most of us, anyway) use a cheat sheet.  Now you can, too!

Wow your friends and befuddle your enemies! Kick sand in the face of the bully insulting your affordable housing plans as you demonstrate a fluent understanding of what each AMI level actually means!

This AMI Cheat Sheet is easily foldable to fit into your wallet or handbag and gives you the information you need in a clear, visual form about how each AMI % translates to:

  • A monthly rent for that apartment
  • A household income amount
  • The % of New Yorkers at each AMI level

If you are interested in a full analysis of why the federally-set AMI methodology is especially off-base in New York City, read the discussion of how AMIs are determined beginning on page 26 of ANHD’s 2013 report, Real Affordability: An Evaluation of the Bloomberg Housing Program and Recommendations to Strengthen Affordable Housing Policy.

Download your copy of The AMI Cheat Sheet [2017] here. Happy Spring from the ANHD Team!


Community Members explained what “OurBronx” means at Jerome Avenue Rezoning Hearing

Last night, hundreds of tenants, workers, business owners, and other local community members packed the Department of City Planning (DCP) scoping hearing for the Jerome Avenue Rezoning. Following a rally and march where community members chanted, “Fight, fight, fight, housing is a right” and “Who’s Bronx? Our Bronx,” members of the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision streamed into the auditorium at Bronx Community College. Speaker after speaker expressed concerns about how the proposed rezoning would impact existing community members, and voiced skepticism as to whether, a year and a half into the process, the City was taking seriously the community’s concerns.

“I’m a single mother, work day and night to pay rent, and I know the housing built in the rezoning won’t be affordable for me,” said one community member.

“Where are the autos shops going to go? You have no plan for them!” said another.

These stories and others made it clear that without new, significant, proactive anti-displacement protections, new development would benefit people making higher incomes than most local residents and would simply make these stories of harassment more common. Several specific policy recommendations were highlighted, including the need for citywide Certificate of No Harassment legislation to proactively disincentivize harassment.

Many speakers also pointed out that any new affordable housing created under existing programs – specifically Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and the City’s Extremely Low- and Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) development program – would largely create housing out of reach for a large percentage of current residents. MIH does not reach the nearly one third of New Yorkers whose incomes are at or below 30% of AMI, and the city’s existing programs for creating affordable housing have only a limited ability to target those at the low end of the income spectrum, who are in fact those most in need of affordable housing in the Jerome Avenue area and throughout the City.

Nearly a year ago, the Bronx Coalition put out a policy platform with thoughtful and detailed recommendations to address their four primary areas of concern: the development of new housing at levels affordable to local residents; anti-displacement & anti-harassment policies for residential and commercial tenants; the creation & preservation of good jobs with local hire; and real community engagement in the planning process.

Coalition members strongly made the case that the draft scope put out by DCP last month did not reflect their policy platform nor did it include detailed recommendations made separately regarding how to conduct an environmental review that would appropriately capture a wide range of possible impacts on the community. While the City has engaged in a wide range of meetings and public forums with local community members, speakers last night pointed out that a real community engagement process needs to result in the local community’s interests being prioritized in the actual plans that move forward.

The communities along Jerome Avenue are not simply saying no to change, a point repeatedly emphasized by opposing speakers. But change can come in a variety of forms to a community that is experiencing rising market pressures, and that change will be fundamentally shaped by this rezoning process. Local residents have a right to see their needs prioritized in the plan.