With another year behind us, California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has published updated income limits and median household income figures for all of the state's 58 counties for 2022.

The state limits, per an HCD announcement, are used to determine the eligibility of applicants for a number of state, federal, and local programs which are required to comply with household income levels and area median incomes - most notably affordable housing. For 2022, the limits for Los Angeles County and Orange County are:

Los Angeles County income limits for 2022California Department of Housing and Community Development

Orange County income limits for 2022California Department of Housing and Community Development

Updated figures have shown a sharp increase since last year, with Los Angeles County's median income for a four-person household rising from $80,000 in 2021 to $91,000 in 2022, and Orange County's rising from $106,700 to $119,000 in the same period.

Another notable change to the 2022 income limits is the addition of the "Acutely Low Income," category, which corresponds to 15 percent of the countywide area median income level. That translates to a four-person household earning up to $14,750 per year in Los Angeles County or $17,850 in Orange County.

The "Acutely Low Income" category is unique to California, having been created by AB 1043 in 2021, and is based on HCD's own criteria. Likewise, the "Moderate Income" category, which corresponds to households earning up to 120 percent of the area median income level, is also set by HCD.

The remaining categories, including the low-, very low-, and extremely low-income levels, are set using methodology created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As in past years, the national methodology has created some surprising results in Los Angeles County, where adjustments to account for high housing costs relative to income have resulted in very low-income limits which exceed 50 percent of AMI.

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