Definition of low income continues to evolve in Bay Area

- As the cost of Bay Area housing is on the rise, the definition of low income continues to evolve. 

According to a report by the Marin Independent Journal, the federal government now says a family of four living in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo can earn as much as $117,000 a year and still qualify for some affordable housing programs.

That's up more than 10 percent, and is the highest level anywhere in the country. A family of four earning $73,000 annually would be considered very low income.

Government officials say the subsidies offered by the government to low income families are not likely to help much with the high cost of housing here.

That's because the median price for rentals in the Bay Area is between $2,500 and $3,500 a month.

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