Senator Avella Introduces Legislation to Change the Way Area Median Income (AMI) is Calculated for Affordable Housing

Queens, NY – Today, State Senator Tony Avella introduced long awaited legislation (S4455) in the New York State Senate that seeks to change the way area median income (AMI) is calculated when determining the affordability of a housing development. The bill will require all affordable housing programs in a city having a population over one million to calculate the AMI based on the zip code where the project will be located.

As the State is poised to reauthorize “The Affordable New York Housing Program” (formerly 421-a) legislation that would incentivize developers to create affordable housing Senator Avella wants to make sure that these developments are actually affordable to those who live in the neighborhood.

Currently, AMI figures used by New York City in regard to affordable housing programs are referred to as the “Metropolitan AMI” and includes all 5 boroughs and Putnam County. This calculation method creates a highly skewed and less-than-affordable figure for measuring affordability in New York City neighborhoods.

Senator Avella’s proposed zip code specific framework will truly reflect the AMI of that particular project and will advance the important issue of affordable housing in New York City.

“With the current AMI calculation, actual affordable housing is a myth in this City. The current developments do not actually provide housing to the members of the community who need it the most. This calculation does a disservice to New Yorkers and further widens the inequality gap in NYC. The cost of living in New York City continues to skyrocket and these developments do not help soften that blow to the residents of the neighborhoods where they are located. It is imperative that we change the AMI calculation so that housing is actually affordable, families can afford to live in the City they built, and to prevent the number of homeless New Yorkers from rising any higher,” said Senator Avella.