Revised income requirement for Aeon apartment homes
At Aeon, our mission is to create and sustain quality affordable homes that strengthen lives and communities. This past week, we made a policy change we believe will directly impact the individuals and families who need homes the most. We are pleased to share that Aeon’s minimum household income requirement — or the amount of monthly income a person must have in order to qualify for an Aeon home — has been changed from 2.5 times the monthly rent to 2.0 times the rent.
Several years ago, the ‘income to rent ratio’ was two times the monthly rent. For example, if the rent for an Aeon apartment was $500, the applicant would have to make $1,000 a month in order to meet the income criteria. Our rationale at the time was that paying half of a household’s income as rent was not affordable; therefore, resident stability could be enhanced by increasing the ratio to 2.5 times rent.
Staff and community partners — plus applicants — called out the fact that households at the lowest level of the affordability spectrum no longer qualified. The 2.5 times rent policy excluded applicants who were very much in need of housing and who had histories of consistently paying their rent — even on limited incomes.
In response to these concerns we began to investigate Aeon’s selection criteria using hard data to help decide policy. The people responsible for this work included: Eric Schnell, chief operating officer; Anika Yokanovich, portfolio director for property operations; and Christina Melander, MSW intern.
The data clearly showed that increasing income requirements did not increase stability for residents. Based on that information, we decided to return to 2.0 times rent as the minimum income standard. This change went into effect April 1, 2015.
Chris Nimmer, vice president of property operations