Affordability Risk Index (ARI)

Update as of 9/21/2022: Due to the changes in Illinois’ census tracts from the 2020 decennial census, IHDA will treat the ARI score from either this year (2022) or the previous year (2021) as valid for applications during the upcoming 2023 9% LIHTC round. Please note that applicants should plan future projects using the 2022 ARI scores.

Every ten years, the census bureau revises the existing census tract delineations in every state. In 2020, the census bureau combined some census tracts into one and, for others, they split one census tract into many. IHDA has found that these changes created greater variability in the ARI scores than in prior years by altering the geographies of census tracts. Given the long-term planning inherent to housing development, these changes have the potential to negatively affect some development outcomes. Developers therefore will be allowed to utilize the higher ARI score from either 2021 or 2022. No further work is required of applicants, as IHDA will determine and utilize the higher score of the two published ARIs.

Both 2021 and 2022 Affordability Risk Index scores and the metrics used to determine them are available in a fully searchable mapping tool:

The Affordability Risk Index (ARI) is a tool intended to demonstrate the need to preserve affordability in areas that are becoming less affordable at a faster rate. Census tracts where affordability loss risk is greatest receive the highest scores in this index. The ARI uses American Community Survey data to measure change over time across various factors that indicate affordability loss:

  • Median Household Income
  • Median Home Value
  • Families Below the Federal Poverty Level
  • Housing Unit Vacancy
  • Renter Tenancy
  • Individuals Employed in Management, Business, Science and Arts Occupations
  • Individuals with a Four-Year Degree (Bachelor’s) or Higher.

Scores in the ARI range from one (1) to five (5). See 2022 ARI scores or 2021 ARI score. All Census tracts in Illinois have been reviewed but some Census tracts that do not meet minimum eligibility standards have received a score of zero (0). Areas identified by the Index as having significant changes across the above factors (either positive or negative change depending on the factor) will receive higher scores.

The ARI is created with publicly available data. IHDA has used specific determination metrics and methodology to determine the 2022 ARI. A similar process was used in 2021 ARI.

Projects will receive a point total equal to the ARI score of the Census tract in which the project is located. Projects that are scattered site with at least one site in a scoring Census tract will receive a pro-rata score based on the proportion of total units located in a scoring Census tract. Fractional scores will be rounded up to the next whole number.