The rising cost of living in California has changed the definition of low income — some households bringing in six figures now qualify for housing assistance, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
A family of four in San Luis Obispo County must earn $66,550 or less a year to be considered low income, while a household of the same size in Marin County must bring in $117,400 annually.
HUD calculations are based on the region's area median income and are used to determine whether households qualify for certain types of housing.
Low-income families earn 80 percent of the area median income, very low-income families earn 50 percent and extremely low income families earn about 30 percent. Certain types of housing assistance are available only to individuals in certain categories.
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HUD's definition of low income varies wildly throughout the state, from more than $100,000 for a family of four in the Bay Area to $47,750 for a family of the same size living in Fresno County.
A Santa Barbara County family of four must earn $80,300 to be considered low income, while a Monterey County family must earn $66,800.
Visit HUD's income limit portal at hud.gov to check out other counties throughout California and the rest of the country.