Only In San Francisco: Couples Making $138k A Year Now Qualify For Subsidized "Affordable Housing"

You know the economics of your city are a bit distorted when a married couple earning roughly 3x the national median income can't even afford to put a roof over their head.  Oddly enough, that seems to be exactly the case in San Francisco where the Board of Supervisors has just approved a piece of legislation that would allow couples earning up to $138,000 a year to qualify for "affordable housing."  Per SFGate:

A family of at least two people who collectively earn $138,000 or less per year will likely soon qualify for one tier of San Francisco's affordable housing that would allow them to buy a home unit, following Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.


Under the city's previous policy, last updated in 2002, only those who earned 55 percent of the typical San Francisco median household income or less were able to utilize the option to buy affordable housing, per ABC. With the new proposal, families of at least two who are together earning up to 150 percent of San Francisco's median income can take advantage of that amendment.


Based on the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development median salary outlines, that means any family of at least two earning less than $138,400 qualifies.



As the San Francisco Examiner noted, the new income targets were all a part of legislation considered by the Board of Supervisors that would require developers to set aside a portion of their developments to be sold to low-income families at below market rates.

A debate over affordable housing requirements began last year when voters approved Proposition C, put on the ballot by supervisors Aaron Peskin and Kim, that for the first time added a middle-income below-market-rate requirement to the affordable housing laws and set the total percent required at 25 percent — 15 percent for low-income earners and 10 percent for middle-income earners. Previously only low-income units were required.


The changes approved Tuesday amend the Prop. C requirements to create three eligible income tiers and sets new percentage requirements. The total percentage of units required for below-market-rate units was set at 18 percent for rental projects of 25 units or more, with 10 percent for low-income earners, 4 percent for moderate-income households and 4 percent for middle-income households.


"This policy is expected to generate between 800 and 2,000 affordable units over the next three years, along with many more market-rate units,” reads a statement issued by the office of Supervisor Ahsha Safai, who introduced legislation in February to set new affordable housing requirements.


“This law helps ensure that San Francisco’s ‘missing middle,’ those who make too much to qualify for housing subsidies but not enough to afford market-rate prices, can find housing they can afford,” the statement reads.

Of course, as usual, such a policy simply demonstrates how little our elected officials actually understand about basic mathematics and economics.  It's simply fascinating that these folks could convince themselves that adding new regulations specifically designed to make it more difficult and more expensive to add housing supply...will actually turn out to be a good thing for housing supply.  It's the equivalent of saying 'we're going to massively penalize you for building new houses, now go build new houses'.  Even the Los Angeles Times managed to figure this one out:

This is hardly a solution to a housing affordability crisis. It's also an unconstitutional government taking of private property without just compensation, and a violation of several precedents specifically, which is why the San Jose case deserves consideration by the Supreme Court.


If you think affordable housing mandates can't do much harm in regions where home prices are already among the highest in the nation, think again. In a Reason Public Policy Institute study that investigated the impact of housing set-asides in the San Francisco Bay Area from 2003 to 2007, economists Benjamin Powell and Edward Stringham found that the volume of new home construction dropped on average 30% in the first year after such a law passed, and prices rose 8%.


In a study looking at Southern California, Stringham and Powell found that housing starts in eight cities dropped off significantly after the inclusionary zoning went into effect. In the seven years before the law, over 28,000 new homes were built. In the seven years after? Only 11,000. Yes, 770 “affordable” units were constructed, but what's more important is the 17,000 homes that weren't built at all, making the housing shortage more acute and pushing up prices.


A different set of researchers from NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Public Policy found that inclusionary zoning programs in the Bay Area produced relatively few affordable units compared with other low-income housing policies. And their statistical analysis of California and Massachusetts laws found that inclusionary zoning laws “contribute to increased sales prices of existing single-family homes during rising regional markets, and may depress local housing prices when regional prices decline.”

Oh well, when it all fails miserably you can always just ask taxpayers for more...that's always the answer in the end.

The legislation can be viewed here:


D Nyle SilverRhino Thu, 07/13/2017 - 19:48 Permalink

They need to allow free housing for all Libtards/illegals. Then take away all vehicles and give Bicycles out. After it completely fills with Liberal Douchebags and Illegals. BAM Earthquake.Then due to Libtard Laws, the Rescue services can only ride bicycles. Natural Cleansing is eviromentally friendly, Helps lower the world Population and besides, liberals are more related rabid dogs than human beings

In reply to by SilverRhino

greenskeeper carl a Smudge by an… Thu, 07/13/2017 - 21:36 Permalink

I dunno, a small business owner would be a lot better off trying to gross 100k elsewhere. This is nuts. that 138k is considered low income enough to qualify for gibs.  My after tax pay isnt even 70k and I live in 2500 SF four bedroom newer brick house on a third of an acre in a 83% white town, in an 80% white county (its 'only' 80% because of one city about 25 min away), have two older but functional and decent looking vehicles, and manage to save money with 3 kids. Sure, its "boring" without all the cultural wonders and excitement of SF, but, hell, now Im hitting all the selling points.....

In reply to by a Smudge by an…

swmnguy Thu, 07/13/2017 - 19:32 Permalink

The whole Bay Area, New York City etc. use what looks like the US Dollar but it's actually more like the Brazilian Real; worth about 30 cents.So this mythical couple making $138k is really making about $46k in the US Dollars you and I are thinking of.

rf80412 Thu, 07/13/2017 - 19:33 Permalink

Here in Del Mar, one of our projects was a second dwelling unit - guest house, back house, etc. - built under a CA state law passed in order to promote affordable housing.  Granted, this glorified studio apartment would probably rent for $3000 a month, but according to the metrics that say rent/mortage should cost no more than a given percent of the average income in an area, that qualifies as "affordable".

Aerows Thu, 07/13/2017 - 20:02 Permalink

Obviously this isn't the solution ... but what is?  If you live where you are able to take public transit (and get mugged on the train or whatever the transportation is that hoodlums are mob robbing people), you don't need a car, you don't need car insurance, etc., BUT most of the time that puts in you in an extremely expensive area.  If you have a car, you commute 1 1/2 hrs. each way, and spend all of your money on fuel and upkeep, not to mention the soul drain of driving that far every day.   What is the solution?  Pointing and laughing while shrieking "libtard" isn't going to solve the problem.  People have to go where the jobs are.  If the job doesn't pay them enough to live there, and plenty of those folks are not "liberal arts retards", many are tech workers and engineers, what do they do?   Who has a solution to this mess other than "Look at the dumb libtards ha ha!"?

MarsInScorpio Aerows Thu, 07/13/2017 - 20:38 Permalink

Aerows:Finally, a person who tells the Oatmeal-for-Brains crowd with their canned, smack-talking slime-posts to come up with solutions.Congrats on "Puttin' the hay down where the goats can eat it;" however, get ready for the Cricket Concerto in response.ZH is over-represented by Moanin' Morons, and "I gots me dem End Times Blues" cry-babies.Note to those whose toes I just stepped on: Aerows is correct; instead on smacking that talk of yours, answer the question: "What'cha gonna do about it? What's your brilliant answer to this pending to implode disaster?"Either come up with solutions, or E S & D. 

In reply to by Aerows

HRH Feant2 (not verified) Thu, 07/13/2017 - 19:46 Permalink

So 25% of the building is going to be given to people that can't afford to live in it while the other 75% of the building residents pay full price.

Jubal Early (not verified) HRH Feant2 (not verified) Fri, 07/14/2017 - 08:31 Permalink

Its also begs the question:  Is their property tax going to be based on real value or reparation value of the appartment.  In SF on a $1m appartment the property taxes would be $12-15k/year alone.  Unless they based it on the affirmative action price of $250k, which is more likely. 

In reply to by HRH Feant2 (not verified)

ogretown Thu, 07/13/2017 - 19:47 Permalink

If the picture is reflective of what these housing units look like, and if there is an earned dollar component of $138K, the planners should start at that dollar figure and move slowly down the list. With any kind of luck, the downtrodden, smelly homeless, worthless welfarians will not make the cut. Interesting idea, build housing for the riff-raff but stock the buildings with legitimate people who stand a better chance of being upwardly mobile. It could be an interesting experiment to see if a couple bringing in this kind of combined income will copy what the near-humans who infest the projects do - urinate in the hallways, rob their neighbors, sell drugs in the common areas, etc.

subversion Thu, 07/13/2017 - 19:49 Permalink

I know a couple who wanted to buy a house in Canada. Royal Bank told them they require 20% down payment and you must be making 300K a year to get the mortgage.