Side Note

$117,000 per year is now considered low-income in San Francisco

If you’re a family of four making $117,000 a year, congrats—in the dystopic Bay Area housing market, you qualify as low-income.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently updated its qualifications for affordable housing programs for San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties, which incorporate Silicon Valley and much of the Bay Area. According to the new guidelines, a family of four earning under $117,400 qualifies as low-income — a 10% increase from the threshold last year that continues the Bay Area’s reign as the site of the highest median income in the U.S. (Nationwide, the median income sits at $59,039.)

The Bay Area has become notorious for its astronomical housing costs that have prevented countless people who work in the Bay Area — including, in San Francisco, 99.9 percent of restaurant staff — from actually living there.

The HUD report further classifies households earning under $73,000 in San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties as “very low” income, while “extremely low” is $44,000—barely below the median income in states like West Virginia ($47,265).