By TOM GANTERT AND ELYSE APEL
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) — In San Francisco, a person with an income of $179,500 a year would be eligible for a 2-bedroom unit with rent at $3,482 per month.
That would be considered affordable housing, according to the city’s housing website.
As city officials have budget discussions, affordable housing is a key part of talks in a city where tax collections and government have expanded at a faster pace than the population.
San Francisco’s property tax collections have doubled from 2012 to 2021, going from $1.88 billion to $3.79 billion, while the number of full-time city employees has increased by 22% over that span. The population has grown 3% over that time.
The people paying the higher government cost are also far wealthier than they were 10 years ago, according to the city’s estimate. City officials estimated per capita income has increased in San Francisco from $85,455 in 2012 to $173,097 in 2021.
According to the city housing website, there is one studio apartment available asking for $905 in monthly rent in a city with more than 850,000 residents. There are 31 units available at $962 per month.
Because so few are available, the city conducts a public lottery to determine who wins the rentals. The city warns applicants who are renters, “You must provide current or updated financial documents as soon as we ask for them. Otherwise, we may skip you and go to the next-ranked household in the lottery.” The city says it could take months before renters can move in.
The home sale prices in San Francisco have more than doubled since 2015.
The median price of single-family homes sold in San Francisco was $2.015 million in May 2022. By comparison, it was $798,720 in Los Angeles. That’s according to the California Association of Realtors.
The median prices of single-family homes sold in San Francisco topped $2 million for the first time ever in May 2022. That’s more than double the median price of $986,610 in January 2015, according to the Realtors association.
A 2021 poll of the Silicon Valley region found that 56% of respondents said they are likely to leave in the next few years. High housing costs was the second-highest reason for wanting to move out behind the rising general cost of living, according to the Joint Venture Silicon Valley poll.