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HDFC Coop Maximum Income Standards

HDFC Cooperative Maximum Income Standards

HDFC cooperatives have maximum income standards for shareholders, tenants of the cooperative, and subtenants of shareholders. The standard definition of "affordable" has changed during the existence of the program so shareholders must consult their corporate documents to determine the standard applicable to their cooperative.

Building requirements can vary based on variables such as how long the building has been an HDFC Coop, restrictive covenants such as flip taxes, right of first refusal, and board approval.

One common standard is that the income of the incoming family/household can be no more than six times the annual maintenance plus a factor for utilities for households of fewer than three. For households with three or more occupants, the factor is seven times the maintenance plus a factor for utilities.

                                                          456 West 50th Street, HDFC

6-7 x Annual Maintenance:

Some HDFC coops may be subject to governing documents or agreements like a Deed that, instead of specifying an AMI level, refers to a formula in Section 576 of the Private Housing Finance Law to determine the maximum income for new shareholders.

This formula requires that units be made affordable to new shareholders (i.e. purchasers) that earn no more than 6 (for a 1-2 person household) or 7 (for a 3+ person household) times the annual maintenance fee plus utility costs plus six percent (6%) of the current shareholder’s (i.e. seller’s) original investment

Outlined below are the steps to calculate the maximum household income in an HDFC coop subject to Section 576 restrictions.

Example 1: 1-bedroom apartment being sold to a 2-person household

Here is an example using the Section 576 formula for determining a new purchaser's maximum income based on the following details:

  • Unit size: 1-bedroom apartment
  • Monthly maintenance: $700
  • Annual maintenance: $8,400 ($700 x 12 months)
  • Annual utilities: $1,164 ($97 per month x 12)
  • Seller's purchase price ("original investment"): $260,000
  • 6% of the original investment: $15,600 (6% of $260,000)
  • Purchaser's household size: 2
  • Multiplier based on household size (required by the Statute): 6x

AMI (Area Median Income)

The other common standards are that incoming families can earn no more than 120% of the median income of the metropolitan area or 165% of the median income of the metropolitan area.

The following is the maximum Income allowed for HDFC coops 
based on Area Median Income (AMI) and Family Size for 2022

About Affordable Housing

photo of housing in NYC

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation HPD is responsible for building or preserving 300,000 affordable homes by 2026.

Housing is considered affordable if it costs about one-third or less of what the people living there earn, also known as Area Median Income (AMI).

Area Median Income (AMI)

2022 New York City Area AMI

Family Size30% AMI40% AMI50% AMI60% AMI70% AMI80% AMI90% AMI100% AMI110% AMI120% AMI130% AMI165% AMI

NYC Income Bands and Percent of AMI

Income Band

Percent of AMI

Extremely Low-Income0-30%
Very Low-Income31-50%

The above information is provided as a general guide. Each listing will state the specific income requirements for each building. 

It should be noted that under the Private Housing Finance Law, all HDFCs must be low,/moderate, or middle/income. The specific definition of low income for some HDFC cooperatives was time-limited and has expired, the cooperation must adopt a new standard. The highest standard that HPD will accept is 165% of the median income for the metropolitan area.

2022 updated


  1. do you have a list of HDFC's that are in the 165% category?
    Vivian Ducat
    Halstead Property

  2. Your blog is very insightful, I do have a question in regards to these HDFC coops- I found a really beautiful coops in central Harlem and I am planning to keep this as my home (give or take at least 5+ years)however, I am having my attorney looking at their financials and it looks like this building (managed by HSC management corp) has not make any money (still in debt) for the past two years. Is this a lemon? what is the worst case scenario? is this a red flag?

  3. Unknown, Thank you. Your attorney should give you legal advice. It's also a good idea to work with a knowledgeable real estate agent when looking for a NYC apartment that will represent your interests during the purchasing process.

  4. Do you happen to know which AMI figure can be used? For example, Fannie Mae has a number ($80,700) and the NY Department of Housing has a figure ($86,300). They are different. If I'm looking to buy or sell an HDFC, which one should used?

  5. AMI figure is from HUD and NYC HPD

  6. is the income based on the previous years tax returns?

  7. According to NYC HPD current income determines eligibility. Each coop may use different methods for determining the total gross income allowed. An HDFC coop may use previous years tax return as evidence of income and they may also require an employer verification letter stating current salary/income.

  8. Mjd

    New York City Housing Development Corporation are the numbers used. Please keep in mind the HPD figure ($86,300) is the median income for a family/household of four.

  9. Informative thank you very much. I do have a question. My grandma owns an apt in the Bronx and now I'm her power of attorney. I would like to know how transfer ownership to myself so we can sell it? Please advise. Thank you

  10. Hi Grand daughter,
    You would need to contact the coop's board or managing agent if coop has a management company to find out how to transfer ownership on the stock certificate to your name. You may need to hire a NYC real estate attorney as well. Good luck.

  11. is the income test annual ? What happens if after buying and living in the coop for several years, the owner's income increases and Owner is no longer is eligible?

  12. No, income eligibility is only determined during the purchasing/application process. Current documented income and/or 1-2 years previous income is usually required. Future income after unit is sold and closed is irrelevant and there is no annual income disclosure required.


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