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Families Making Less Than $117,000 in San Francisco Qualify For Public Housing Assistance

The increasingly steep cost of living in San Francisco means that even earning six figures in the city might not be enough to make ends meet.

A new report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development says that a San Francisco metro area family of four bringing in $117,400 a year qualifies as “low income. ” Last year, the cut off was $105,350. An annual salary of $82,000 now puts single adults in the “low income” bracket as well.

Other notoriously expensive cities aren’t nearly as extreme. In New York, the “low income” threshold for a family of four is $83,450 per year. In Los Angeles, it’s $77,500.

Making ends meet for a family of four in San Francisco requires a household income of $92,139, according to MIT’s living wage calculator. The model takes into account factors such as the costs of child care and health insurance, in addition to food and other regular expenses, but doesn’t include conveniences such as restaurant meals, vacations and money left over for investments.

Even some white-collar employees in the area are struggling. In 2017, one Twitter employee earning a $160,000 salary told The Guardian that he struggles to make ends meet.

The employee’s biggest expense is the $3,000 monthly rent he pays on a two-bedroom house where he lives with his wife and two kids, which he describes as “ultra cheap.”

“Families are priced out of the market,” he says, explaining that it’s hard to compete with the hordes of 20-somethings willing to pile into a shared house — and still pay $2,000 per person for a room.


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