Rapid urbanization poses a significant challenge of accommodating the poor, particularly in developing countries such as China where affordable housing has only been initiated a few years ago and will continue to be developed in the coming years. Two major considerations in affordable housing programs are cost and time, as the ability to meet the needs of low-income households is the main target of these programs. However, it is not a common strategy to address affordable housing shortage by means of incorporating sustainability features. One of critical issues is the lack of sustainability framework to integrate sustainability in affordable housing. This paper aims to identify the key sustainability performance indicators (KSPIs) which are useful to guide the development of affordable housing. A preliminary list of 42 key sustainability performance indicators of affordable housing was identified through an extensive literature review. This was followed by a questionnaire survey to solicit the professional views from three stakeholder groups, namely government, developers and academics in the Chinese construction industry. Via the fuzzy set theory and variance analysis, 24 KSPIs were finally highlighted. These findings provide useful references for policy makers as well as industry practitioners to develop affordable housing programs in a sustainable manner. This helps to achieve the sustainable development at the regional scale. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.