$117,000 a year considered 'low income' in some Bay Area counties

Realtor Larry Gallegos says this rundown house sold for over $1 million.               CBS News

Realtor Larry Gallegos says this rundown house sold for over $1 million. CBS News

In the Department's most recent annual assessment of income limits for determining the need for assistance like public housing and Section 8 vouchers, the low income limit for three Bay Area counties is now at $117,400 for a four-person household.

But San Francisco's high HUD income limits do allow middle class workers to qualify for affordable housing developments, said Susan Popkin, an institute fellow at the Urban Institute.

San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo show that an income of $117,400 for a family of four can be counted as low income.

HUD's brackets consider four-person households earning $73,300 annually in those three counties as "very low" income and those making $44,000 as "extremely low". Or in other words, and as a matter of fact, a six-figure salary of $102,750 would be around the median for an individual in San Francisco, and above which you would actually be making more than most. Not only is the low-income gauge the highest such limit in the country, but it represents a 10% increase over past year, per the San Jose Mercury News.

"That kind of shocks you", San Mateo County housing director Ken Cole told a reporter. "How is that possibly poverty by anybodys measure?" Not so in San Francisco.

The Bay Area figures are the highest in the country according to SFGate and there does not appear to be any sign of the rapidly rising costs slowing down. San Francisco's stringent labor laws and the $15 minimum wage increase put an added burden on business owners, who are finding strategies to be more efficient, since lower-income workers are becoming more and more hard to find.

Single-family home prices in the West Coast tech hub jumped 13.1 percent in April compared to a year earlier, according to the Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday.

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