It’s no secret that San Francisco has sky-high rents. But that unaffordability is extending outside the Bay Area too these days. [SPONSORED]

The federal poverty line is $12,140 for an individual or $25,100 for a four-person family. But in San Francisco, the Department of Housing and Urban Development says that line is $82,200 for a single person, or $117,400 for a family of four.

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The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) says a renter has to make a minimum of $61.50 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Marin or San Mateo Counties. Depending on where you live, that could go up to $92.31. With a minimum wage of $16.99 in San Francisco, Mercury News points out that means you’d need to hold down four full-time jobs, working 160 out of 168 hours a week just to survive.  

The Santa Cruz area isn’t far behind. Between 2019 and 2022, that metro area had one of the largest rent increase of any small U.S. metro and came ranked as the least affordable location for teachers to live and the fourth-least affordable place for homeowners in the entire world.

The High Cost of Housing report from the NLIHC says workers would need to make between about $52.88 and $76.54 an hour for a two-bedroom apartment, once again necessitating four full-time jobs to rent a two-bedroom apartment. That’s bad news for an area where 40% of residents are renters.  

Housing Santa Cruz County is an advocacy group comprised of individuals, faith-based leaders, community leaders, non-profit organizations, businesses, and service providers, who are banding together to try to make Santa Cruz County more affordable. The Board Chair of that group, Don Lane, spoke out about the NLIHC’s new report on housing prices.

“This report just confirms the sobering reality in our community that many of us are actively trying to change,” the East Bay Times quotes Lane as saying about the NLIHC report. “Santa Cruz County is experiencing a critical shortage of affordable housing. The work HSCC and other advocates are doing to support affordable housing projects and policies has never been more vital.”