In California’s notoriously pricey San Francisco Bay Area, households earning around $117,000 a year are now considered “low income,” according to a new definition of income limits released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
For a household of four people living in the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, or Marin, the department’s recently released definition of low income limits is now set at $117,400—the highest in the nation. The median family income in the area is $118,400.
The HUD also now considers households of four earning $44,000 to be “extremely low income,” while households of four earning $73,300 are considered “very low income.” A one-person household is now considered to be low income if it earns $82,200.
Compared to the department’s 2017 income limits report, the 2018 low income limit is a more than $10,000 increase.
The department’s income limits are used as a threshold for determining which households may qualify for affordable and/or subsidized housing through programs such as Section 8.
Between 2010 and 2016—the same time period during which the city began to experience another tech boom as startup after startup found itself valued in the billions—housing prices in San Francisco skyrocketed, climbing by more than 70%.