$117,400 Salary Qualifies as ‘Low Income’ in S.F.

The latest Housing and Urban Development thresholds classify an almost $120,000-a-year salary as low-income in much of the Bay Area.

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The depressing joke of San Francisco’s income inequality just got its annually-updated punchline. According to the latest U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development adjustments, the threshold to qualify for “low income” assistance now stands at $117,400 for a family of four in San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo Counties according to the Bay Area News Group.

This isn’t the first time HUD has classified a six-figure income as “low” in San Francisco. Their 2017 estimates determined that a $105,350 salary met the low-income requirements for subsidized housing programs in San Francisco and San Mateo.

But this year’s ten percent jump gives us the highest “low income” classification in the country, ahead of New York City ($83,450) and Los Angeles ($77,500).

“It just demonstrates how broken and unsustainable our housing market is,” Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California Executive Director Amie Fishman said. “More and more people are unable to afford housing.”

We should stress that only a family of four, living in the same household, and with only one income earner in the household would meet the low-income requirement at $117,400. HUD calculates these figures by determining an area’s median income and factoring in average rent and other variables.

It may be slightly comforting that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will consider fast-tracking more affordable housing projects at Tuesday night’s weekly meeting. But no matter how much money you’re making, the San Francisco affordability crisis is definitely on the wrong track.

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