Six-figure salary now considered ‘low-income’ in SF, according to feds
The Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] released new income estimates Monday that presented a depressingly unsurprising perspective on the cost of living in San Francisco, as many SF households bringing in more than $100,000 annually now qualify as “low income” with the federal government.
MAKING SENSE OF THE STORY
- HUD’s annually assessed “income limits” judge how much a person or household can make per year and still qualify for certain types of federal housing assistance, deeming residents either “low income” (80 percent of the area-median income), “very low income” (50 percent), or “extremely low income” (usually less than 50 percent, although the formula for this one varies).
- “The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 5-year ACS median family income (MFI) estimates are used as the basis for calculating HUD’s” 2018 figures, according to the department’s published methodology.
According to fiscal year 2018 figures, “low income” status in San Francisco begins at $82,200/year for a single person, the highest in the country.
- For a household of two the cutoff is $93,950/year, and a household of three breaks the six-figure mark with $105,700/year. The published scale maxes out at eight persons and $155,000/year.
- Conversely, HUD considers a single San Franciscan making $51,350/year “very low income,” whereas yearly earnings of $30,800/year (before taxes) qualify as “extremely low income.”.
- At the beginning of 2018, figures from the U.S. Department of Economic Analysis reveal that the median U.S. Income across all household sizes was less than $60,000/year.
- In San Francisco, HUD considers a similar wage “very low” for a household of two and “extremely low” for a household of eight.
- Note that when HUD talks about “San Francisco” it’s actually referencing the larger San Francisco metro area, if you will, that includes Marin County and San Mateo County.
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