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  • Data and Limits

ESG Income Limits


Date Published: May 2021


HUD released the FY 2021 Income Limits, effective April 1, 2021, which can be found at HUDUSER FY 2021 Income Limits.

The CARES Act raised the income limit in paragraph (1)(i) of the “at risk of homelessness” definition at 24 CFR 576.2 from 30 percent of AMI to the Very Low-Income limit of the area, as determined by the Secretary. This income limit is applicable to ESG CARES Act (ESG-CV) funds and annual ESG funds used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

To access the 30% income limit: click on the data tab and scroll down to the 5th section labeled “HUD 30% Income Limit for ALL Areas.”

To access the Very Low-Income limit: Click on the Query Tool to look up the Very Low-Income Limit for your area by selecting “Click Here for FY 2021 IL Documentation”.  As another option, you can click on the “Data” tab to access the “Tables for Section 8 Income Limits” for all areas.

When working with ESG program income limits, please be aware of the following key points:

  • Extremely Low Income vs. Area Median Income Limits. The “Extremely Low Income (ELI) families" limits do NOT apply to the ESG or Continuum of Care (CoC) programs. ESG does not use the ELI measure to establish income limits but instead uses the 30% of Area Median Income (AMI) income limits. Please use the 30% of AMI tables. If ESG recipients/subrecipients were to use the ELI standard, some applicants for ESG assistance might be falsely determined to be eligible for homelessness prevention assistance, when actually their incomes were over 30% of AMI.
    Under the ESG program, income eligibility is based on the HUD income limits in effect at the time of income verification. Income eligibility is not based on HUD income limits that correspond with the grant year under which the ESG funds were awarded.
  • Rapid Re-Housing Income Requirements. Please keep in mind for program participants receiving ESG “Rapid Re-Housing" assistance, an income assessment is not required at initial evaluation. At re-evaluation -- which must take place not less than once annually for rapid re-housing -- the participant's household must have an annual income that does not exceed 30% of AMI.
  • Homelessness Prevention Income Requirements. Homelessness Prevention assistance may be provided to households who meet the criteria under the At Risk of Homelessness definition, or who meet the criteria in paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of the homeless definition, lack the resources to obtain other permanent housing, and have an annual income that does not exceed 50% of AMI when using ESG-CV and annual ESG funds to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the impacts of coronavirus. When using annual ESG funds for homelessness prevention purposes NOT related to preventing, preparing for, responding to, and mitigating the impacts of coronavirus, individual and family income must be below 30% of AMI at intake and at or below 30% of AMI at re-evaluation.

Tags: ESG
Author Organization
  • HUD
Resource Approver
  • HUD Approved