Philadelphia a city in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

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About Affordable Housing In Philadelphia

There are 697 low income housing apartment complexes which contain 36,823 subsidized apartments for rent in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Many of these rental apartments are income based housing with about 11,367 apartments that set rent based on your income. Often referred to as "HUD apartments", there are 6,954 Project-Based Section 8 subsidized apartments in Philadelphia. There are 11,295 other low income apartments that don't have rental assistance but are still considered to be affordable housing for low income families.

Fair Market Rents are used to establish the payment standards for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. In Philadelphia, the fair market rents range from $845 to $1,686. To learn more about rents for low income apartments in Philadelphia read the Fair Market Rents section of the Understanding Affordable Housing in Philadelphia guide.

To qualify for low income housing in Philadelphia a family of four would generally have to earn less than $40,150. For more detailed income qualification information for affordable apartments in Philadelphia read the Income section of the Understanding Affordable Housing in Philadelphia guide.

The HUD funded Public Housing Agency that serves Philadelphia is the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

  • The Philadelphia Housing Authority Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List is Closed.
  • The Philadelphia Housing Authority Public Housing Waiting List is Open Now.
  • The Philadelphia Housing Authority Public Housing Waiting List is Closed.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority offers 84 Public Housing complexes containing 15,254 HUD apartments. The rent at these subsidized apartments are always income based. To find a public housing unit, look for the tag in the apartment list below.

Affordable Apartments in Philadelphia

1300 Lombard Street
Casa Farnese Apartments is a 288 unit low income housing apartment community that provides St.-1 bedroom apartments for rent in Philadelphia. Rents at Casa Farnese Apartments are Income Based.
Some or all apartments in this community are rent subsidized, which means rent is income based.
Project-Based Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance
3901 Market Street
University Square Apartments is a 442 unit low income housing apartment community that provides 1 bedroom apartments for rent in Philadelphia. Rents at University Square Apartments are 829.
Some or all apartments in this community are rent subsidized, which means rent is income based.
Project-Based Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance
1300 W. Jefferson Street
Yorktown Arms Apartments for Seniors 60 and older only is a low income housing apartment community that provides 1-2 bedroom apartments for rent in Philadelphia. Rents at Yorktown Arms Apartments for Seniors 60 and older only are 583.
1701 S 28th Street
Anthony Wayne II is a 39 unit low income housing apartment community that provides 1-2 bedroom apartments for rent in Philadelphia. Rents at Anthony Wayne II are $594-802.
Apartments in this community are not rent subsidized. However, this apartment community has rents considered affordable for low income families in Philadelphia.
Low Income Housing Tax Credit
911 N. Franklin Street
Ascension Manor Apts. I is a 281 unit low income housing apartment community that provides St.-1 bedroom apartments for rent in Philadelphia.
Some or all apartments in this community are rent subsidized, which means rent is income based.
Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Project-Based Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance Senior (62+) Accessible Units

Housing Authorities that serve Philadelphia

Understanding Affordable Housing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA Affordable Housing Snapshot

Total Affordable Apartment Properties 697
Total Low Income Apartments 36,823
Total Rent Assisted Apartments 11,367
Percentage of Housing Units Occupied By Renters 45.89%
Average Renter Household Size 1.96
Total Population 1,526,006
Housing Units 599,736
Average Household Size 2.21
Median Household Income $37,460 ±$430
Median Rent $915 ±$6
Percentage Of Renters Overburdened 52.64% ± 0.8pp

Population and Household Demographics

Philadelphia is a City in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania with a population of 1,526,006. There are 599,736 households in the city with an average household size of 2.21 persons. 45.89% of households in Philadelphia are renters.

Income and Rent Overburden in Philadelphia

The median gross income for households in Philadelphia is $37,460 a year, or $3,122 a month. The median rent for the city is $915 a month.

Households who pay more than thirty percent of their gross income are considered to be Rent Overburdened. In Philadelphia, a household making less than $3,050 a month would be considered overburdened when renting an apartment at or above the median rent. 52.64% of households who rent are overburdened in Philadelphia.1

Data derived from 2010 Census and 2014 5-Year American Community Survey. Learn More.
1 Margin of Error: ± 0.8 percentage points.

Fair Market Rents in Philadelphia

Fair Market Rents, often abbreviated as FMR, can be used to better understand the average housing costs of an area. Notably, Fair Market Rents are used to establish the payment standards for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, maximum rents in HOME financed rental projects and initial rents for Section 8 project based assistance.

2017 Fair Market Rents
Studio One BR Two BR Three BR Four BR
$845 $1,003 $1,211 $1,515 $1,686
Area Median Income In Philadelphia

Affordable housing program eligibility is always determined by one's income. Each household's income is compared to the incomes of all other households in the area. This is accomplished through a statistic established by the government called the Area Median Income, most often referred to as AMI. The AMI is calculated and published each year by HUD.

HUD often uses an area larger than a city to determine the AMI because HUD anticipates those searching for housing will look beyond individual cities during their housing search. For Philadelphia, the AMI is calculated from all households within Philadelphia County.

In Philadelphia, HUD calculates the Area Median Income for a family of four as $80,300.

Most affordable housing programs determine eligibility based on the percent of AMI a given household's income is. Among the programs that determine eligibility based on the AMI are Section 8, HOME, LIHTC, Section 515, 202 and 811.

Low Income Housing Tax Credits in Philadelphia

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program aims to create affordable rental housing for low and very low income families.

From 1987 to 2011, 432 low income apartment communities containing 9,830 rental apartments have been constructed and made affordable to low income persons in Philadelphia by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

You can identify apartment communities that participate in the program in Philadelphia by looking for the tag in the apartment list above. View Apartments.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Income Limits

For affordable apartment communities in Philadelphia that received funding in part through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, monthly rent cannot exceed the Tax Credit maximum rent for the community.

If your income does not exceed 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), you may qualify to rent a unit that is subject to the rent limits established by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.

% of AMI 1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons 5 Persons 6 Persons 7 Persons 8 Persons
50% $28,150 $32,150 $36,150 $40,150 $43,400 $46,600 $49,800 $53,000
60% $33,780 $38,580 $43,380 $48,180 $52,080 $55,920 $59,760 $63,600
Low Income Housing Tax Credit Rent Limits

If your income is less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), you should not expect to pay more than the rent value for a unit in the table below. However, Affordable apartment communities that receive funding through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program may have rental units that are not subject to income and rent limits.

Rent limits for the LIHTC Program are determined so that a household making the maximum income for the expected household size of the unit would only pay 30% of their income for rent.

For example, the expected household size for a two bedroom apartment is 3 people. Using the table above, the maximum income for a 3 person household at 60% of the AMI in Philadelphia is $43,380 a year, or $3,615 a month. To determine the maximum rent in the table below we multiply the monthly maximum income, $3,615 by 30% to get a maximum rent of $1,085 a month.

Rent for units in the LIHTC Program include a utility allowance which is determined by the average monthly cost of utilities paid directly by residents. This allowance has not been subtracted from the rents in the table below. These utility allowances are set on a property by property basis.

% of AMI Studio 1 Bed 2 Bed 3 Bed 4 Bed 5 Bed
50% $704 $754 $904 $1,044 $1,165 $1,285
60% $845 $905 $1,085 $1,253 $1,398 $1,542
Rental Assistance in Philadelphia

Rental assistance is a type of housing subsidy that pays for a portion of a renter’s monthly housing costs, including rent and tenant paid utilities. This housing assistance can come in the form of Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, project-based Section 8 contracts, public housing, USDA Rental Assistance (in Section 515 properties) as well as HUD Section 202 and 811 properties for elderly and disabled households.

You can identify apartment communities that participate in a program that provides rental assistance by looking for the tags in the apartment list above. View Apartments.

HUD Rental Assistance Income Limits

To qualify for most rental assistance programs a renter must earn no more than 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI). In some cases, rental assistance is reserved for renters earning 30% or less of the AMI. In Philadelphia, to qualify for Section 8 assistance, a renter household containing four persons must earn $40,150 or less. For some targeted rental assistance programs, a renter household of four can’t earn more than $24,300.

It’s important to remember that in many rental assistance programs there are minimum rent regulations requiring assistance recipients to make a minimum payment of between $25 and $50 per month no matter how low their income.

% of AMI 1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons 5 Persons 6 Persons 7 Persons 8 Persons
30% $16,900 $19,300 $21,700 $24,300 $28,440 $32,580 $36,730 $40,890
50% $28,150 $32,150 $36,150 $40,150 $43,400 $46,600 $49,800 $53,000
80% $45,000 $51,400 $57,850 $64,250 $69,400 $74,550 $79,700 $84,850