Official State Income Limits for 2021 Revised to include acutely low-income
By Department of Housing and Community Development

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has revised the State Income Limits for 2021, which became effective January 1, 2022. The revision is in response to Chapter 354, Statute of 2021 (AB 1043), which adds section 50063.5 to the Health and Safety Code and defines a new income category: acutely low-income. California’s acutely low-income households are defined as households whose income does not exceed 15-percent of the area median income, adjusted for family size. 


The 2021 Official State Income Limits will remain active until the next update in Spring 2022, upon availability of annually updated Section 8 Income Limits from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The State Income Limits include briefing materials with

  • An explanation of the methodology prescribed by state law and used by HCD
  • Frequently asked questions and answers, including why the low-income limit can sometimes exceed the median income, and why income limits may remain unchanged from last year.

Applicability: State Income limits are used to determine applicant eligibility and affordable housing cost for designated state, federal, and local programs that are required to comply with household income levels and area median incomes as defined in Health and Safety Code section 50105, 50106, 50079.5 and 50093. 


For income limits used for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), visit HUD’s website


Background: HCD is required under Health and Safety Code section 50093© to update State Income Limits annually upon release of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s updated Public Housing and Section 8 Income Limits.

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