San Francisco is so expensive that households making over $US100,000 a year qualify for low-income housing

  • Four-person households that make $US117,400 a year qualify for low-income housing in San Francisco and a few neighbouring counties, according to a new report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • That’s just below the area’s median family income of $US118,400.
  • These figures reflect the stark reality of the city’s worsening affordable-housing crisis.

To qualify for low-income housing in San Francisco County or the nearby San Mateo and Marin counties, a four-person household can make as much as $US117,400 a year. The same goes for a one-person household raking in $US82,200 a year.

That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which just released the 2018 thresholds for affordable housing across the US. As the East Bay Times notes, the San Francisco metro area’s threshold is just below the area’s median family income of $US118,400.

HUD’s brackets consider four-person households earning $US73,300 annually in those three counties as “very low” income and those making $US44,000 as “extremely low.”

For comparison, $US83,450 is the upper limit at which a four-person household in New York City can apply for low-income housing. In Baltimore and Phoenix, that figure is $US71,900 and $US55,300.

San Francisco’s thresholds come as no surprise. For the past several years, the Bay Area has been grappling with an affordable-housing crisis, which seems to be worsening. As Business Insider’s Melia Robinson has noted, Bay Area tech companies frequently place their headquarters in areas without much nearby housing, and the high salaries and stock options prevalent in the tech industry cause home prices to continue rising.

Some Bay Area cities see higher taxes aimed at tech giants like Google and Apple as a possible solution. For example, Mountain View and Cupertino have recently proposed “head taxes,” in which large companies would pay $US150 an employee annually. The revenue would go toward projects designed to address rising housing prices, homelessness, and worsening traffic in the region. If the two city councils passes referendums for the taxes, residents will vote on them in November.

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