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What is a QCT?

The following description of how HUD determines which areas are eligible for QCT status is derived from the official HUD definition at

HUD used 2000 Census data and the MSA/PMSA definitions established by the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") in 2006. Beginning with the 1990 census, tract-level data are available for the entire country. Generally, in metropolitan areas these geographic divisions are called census tracts while in most non-metropolitan areas the equivalent nomenclature is Block Numbering Area ("BNA"). BNAs are treated as census tracts for the purposes of this Notice.

The LIHTC Qualified Census Tracts were determined as follows:

1.  The Area Median Gross Income was determined for each MSA/PMSA or county.

2. The 60% of AMGI limit was determined for each MSA/PMSA or county, and is defined by HUD to be 120% of the HUD Very Low Income Limits.  The HUD Very Low Income Limits are based on 50% of the AMGI, but are occasionally adjusted for high housing costs, or low income limits; therefore, the 60% limit does not always equal 60% of the AMGI. 

3. For each census tract, the percentage of households below the 60% income standard was determined by (a) calculating the average household size of the census tract, (b) applying the income standard after adjusting it to match the average household size, and (c) calculating the number of households with incomes below the income standard.

4. Qualified Census Tracts are those in which 50% or more of the households are income eligible and the population of all census tracts that satisfy this criterion does not exceed 20% of the total population of the respective area.

5. In areas where more than 20% of the population qualifies, census tracts are ordered from the highest percentage of eligible households to the lowest. Starting with the highest percentage, census tracts are included until the 20% limit is exceeded. If a census tract is excluded because it raises the percentage above 20%, then subsequent census tracts are considered to determine if one or more census tract(s) with smaller population(s) could be included without exceeding the 20% limit.

Back to the LIHTC information page

To the Interactive QCT database


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