Sarasota is seeing an increase in average income

Sarasota is seeing an increase in average income

The estimated average income for a family of four in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton region has risen from $ 77,000 to $ 90,400 this year – more than doubling the national rate.

It is an increase, experts say, that could result in greater access to affordable housing for some families, but higher rents for others in existing affordable units.

The average annual income (or AMI) calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is used to determine eligibility and rent limits for various affordable state and federal housing programs – from Section 8 tickets to resorts built with low-income housing tax credits.

Lofts on Lemon, 851 N. Lemon Ave.  in Sarasota, it consists of 76 affordable housing units for families earning up to 60% of the area's average income and 52 units for families earning up to 100%.  More people can now qualify for these units, following a sharp increase in the area's average annual income.

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The change is mixed news for residents in a tight real estate market amid a crisis of affordable housing.

“Some affordable units will be more expensive,” said William Russell, president and CEO of the Sarasota Housing Authority. “As incomes grow, so do rents. On the other hand, more people will now qualify for some of these housing assistance programs that they would not otherwise have. ”

The bad news for affordable housing in Sarasota

For example, in complexes that are built with tax credits for low-income housing, many rent limits are based on what a family or household can afford at 60 percent of the AMI, Russell noted.

Based on last year’s AMI for the region, the rent limit for a three-bedroom apartment at such a complex was $ 1,204, according to a chart by Florida Housing Finance Corporation using HUD figures.

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