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Rent: San Franciscans’ burden to bear

Rent burden has become drastically more prevalent in San Francisco's population over the last 28 years

Over the last 28 years, San Francisco’s population has become drastically more susceptible to rent burden.

A study by the San Francisco Planning Commission revealed that people making 80% to 120% of the area median income ($82,900 as of April) have become susceptible to rent burden. Nearly three decades ago, this would have been nearly unheard of.

According to the study, in 1990 just over 10% of renters in the 80% to 120% AMI category were rent burdened. From 2011 to 2015, the number of rent burdened renters in that category jumped to over 30% with a small portion (under 10%) of them exhibiting severe rent burden (paying more than 50% of their income for rent).

The picture gets much, much bleaker for those in who live in San Francisco and make less than 80% of AMI.

The study shows that just under 60% of San Francisco renters in the 50% to 80% AMI category are rent burdened, and roughly 15% of those renters are severely burdened.

Rent burden chart

(Courtesy of the San Francisco Planning Commission)

Going down the list, about 75% of renters making between 30% and 50% AMI are rent burdened, with over 40% under severe rent burden.

And finally, roughly 80% of renters making 0% to 30% of the AMI are rent burdened with over 60% of them under severe rent burden.

This is actually a slight improvement over 1990, when just under 85% of renters in this category were rent burdened and about 65% were severely rent burdened.

The total number of rent burdened households in San Francisco increased from about 38,000 to 49,000 from 1990 to 2015.

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