Politics & MoneyReal Estate

San Francisco’s definition of low income is shocking

HUD says households earning upward of 6 figures qualify for low-income housing

You’re pulling in more than $100,000 a year to support your family of four, and you think you’re doing pretty well, right? Wrong. Not in San Francisco, you’re not.

According to the latest report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, four-person households in the Bay Area that make less than $117,400 can qualify for certain low-income housing programs. That’s the highest in the nation, and it’s just shy of the area’s median household income of $118,400.

For one-person households in the area, those earning $82,200 a year are now considered low income.

HUD’s low-income limits, which are based on factors like median income and rent, have been steadily rising in the San Francisco area for the past six years, making it one of the least affordable places to live in the country.

Residents can thank the tech boom for making their hard-earned wages feel like peanuts. With sky-high salaries and abundant stock options, employees in the tech sector are descending on the city and neighborhoods nearby, driving up home prices as they look to nest near company headquarters.

According to Business Insider, some Bay Area cities are pushing for a “head tax” that would require tech giants to pay $100-$300 per employee annually to address the situation. The revenue would be funneled toward programs designed to tackle some of the problems created by the influx of tech people and their tech money, like improving housing affordability and transit issues.

But for now, people will just have to pony up if they want to live in the city near the bay.




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