Affordable Housing Statistics

What is "Affordable Housing"?

  • The standard meaning of "affordable housing" is housing that is affordable to households with low incomes, meaning that these households pay no more than 30% of their income for rent/mortgage and utilities.
  • "Low income" is defined based on the area median income (or "AMI") of the city or county. Typically, households are considered "low-income" if they earn no more than 80% of AMI. Households earning under 50% of AMI are very low-income, and those earning under 30% of AMI are extremely low-income. 
  • In Orange County, the AMI for 2020 is $90,900
    • 80% of AMI = $50,900 for one person and $72,700 for a family of four
    • 50% of AMI = $31,850 for one person and $45,450 for a family of four
    • 30% of AMI = $19,100 for one person and $27,250 for a family of four

Affordable Housing Statistics

  • Fair market rent (or "FMR") of a two-bedroom apartment (2019)
    • North Carolina: $737
    • Orange County: $902
  • Income needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment at FMR (2019)
    • North Carolina: $35,256 ($16.95 per hour)
    • Orange County: $42,200 ($20.29 per hour)
  • Mean wage earned by renters
    • North Carolina: $15.29 per hour
    • Orange County: $14.12 per hour
  • In 2019, an Orange County renter earning the mean wage ($14.12) would need to work 112 hours per week to afford the fair market rent for a standard two-bedroom apartment ($902).
  • Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition (

Funding for Affordable Housing 

  • HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME)
  • Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) - Chapel Hill
  • Orange County Affordable Housing Bond
  • North Carolina Housing Finance Agency