Understanding income limits and how they apply to affordable housing

When it comes to buying a home in a vibrant city like Houston, finding a property that fits your needs and budget can be a daunting task, especially for first-time buyers. This is where the unique Midtown Redevelopment Authority (MRA)/Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement (CCPPI) affordable housing program steps in. Anchored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) income limits, this program empowers homebuyers to turn their dream of homeownership into a reality, all within their financial means.

HUD’s income limits are pivotal in determining who is eligible to receive homebuying assistance like that offered by the MRA/CCPPI program. These limits, which are updated annually, delineate the spectrum of qualifying incomes for affordable housing initiatives nationwide. In Houston, the 2024 median income limit for a family of four is $94,600.

With one exception, eligibility for the MRA/CCPPI program extends to homebuyers with incomes ranging from 80% to 120% of HUD’s limits. For a family of four, this equates to annual incomes of $75,680 to $113,520, earned by moderate-income individuals, such as educators, first responders, healthcare professionals, and others navigating Houston’s competitive real estate landscape. The exception is homes built by Houston Habitat for Humanity, which welcomes buyers with incomes at or below 80% of HUD’s Area Median Income limits for the Houston area (see chart).

One of the key strengths of the MRA/CCPPI program is its commitment to inclusivity. It’s about making homeownership a possibility for a wider range of people in Houston. By focusing on buyers within HUD’s income brackets, the program is not just about affordable housing, but also about building a more diverse and accessible housing community, contributing to the social fabric of Houston.

The program’s benefits go beyond affordability. Homebuyers can expect to find properties in some of Houston’s most sought-after neighborhoods, such as Greater Third Ward, OST/South Union, and MacGregor, where there is easy access to schools, parks, transit, the Texas Medical Center, and other amenities. This fosters a sense of community and stability that can significantly impact residents’ quality of life.

Moreover, the program also helps bolster the area’s economic vitality. By elevating homeownership rates, MRA/CCPPI aids neighborhood stabilization and sustainable growth, enabling residents to establish generational wealth and maintain ties to their roots.

If you’re considering purchasing a home and fall within the 80% to 120% income range of HUD’s limits, the Midtown affordable housing program could be the perfect opportunity for you. Explore your options by reading any of our previous blogs or watching our new homeowner testimonials on our YouTube page. More information is available by contacting CCPPI or the Houston Area Urban League.