Area Median Income and Rent Limits for Affordable Housing

Government agencies use these rent and income limits to determine eligibility for different housing programs.

Posted: August 31st, 2018 3:44 PM

Last Updated: June 13th, 2023 1:10 PM

Guidance for Tenant Recertification Procedures During the COVID-19 Emergency: If you are a property owner of City-assisted affordable housing properties and seeking guidance for tenant recertification procedures during the COVID-19 emergency, please click here to read the memo for procedures through September 30, 2021.

The City of Oakland is required by local and state regulations to follow the California Health and Safety Code in setting income and rent limits for most City-assisted or City-restricted affordable housing projects. These limits may differ from those published by other agencies.

The City’s published income and rent limits are provided here as a convenience to project owners and tenants. However, they are not intended to modify or override legal standards regarding occupancy and rents. If there is any conflict between the limits set forth here and the legal standards set forth in the regulatory agreement for a project, the standards of the regulatory agreement will apply.

2023 City of Oakland Income Limits (effective June 6, 2023)

2023 City of Oakland Rent Limits - 1.5x Occupancy Standard (effective June 6, 2023)

2023 Rent Limits - 1+1 Occupancy Standard (effective June 6, 2023)

For more information about the City’s methodology in computing income and rent limits, please refer to this memorandum:

Memo – City of Oakland Income and Rent Limits Methodology

The City’s guidelines for verifying household incomes in units subject to a City of Oakland regulatory agreement may be found in this document:

City of Oakland Income Determination Guidelines


To determine which rent limits chart to use, identify the benchmark occupancy standard for your project, located in Exhibit B of your project’s regulatory agreement.

Differences in the rent limits charts are due to differences in the benchmark household size, as prescribed by state and federal regulations:

Occupancy Standard Comparison
Occupancy Standard Comparison

In general, the 1.5x standard applies to projects with federal assistance, including Low Income Housing Tax Credits or HOME funds (but not including Project Based Section 8 Vouchers). The 1 + 1 standard generally applies to projects with no federal assistance. This formula for establishing rents is used irrespective of the actual household size of the tenant household occupying the unit.


Sponsors may use the utility allowances under the federal Section 8 program as published by the Oakland Housing Authority, or sponsors may present documentation substantiating other figures, subject to review and approval of such documentation and its underlying methodology by the City. Any mandatory ongoing costs required by sponsors in connection with tenancy, such as renter’s insurance, shall be treated as utilities.


Please refer to California Health & Safety Code Section 50052.5 to determine the appropriate affordable housing cost for City-assisted Below Market Rate homeownership units.

Section 8 Utility & Appliance Allowances

The Oakland Housing Authority sets utility allowances for the Section 8 rental assistance program and for the City's affordable housing program. Rent limits for subsidized housing must be adjusted downward if the tenant pays utilities. Use these charts to determine the appropriate allowance, depending on which utilities are paid by tenants.