The flip of the calendar brings another update to the income limits and median household income figures for all of California's 58 counties.
As in previous years, the state income limits help to determine applicant eligibility for programs which are based on the level of household income. Most relevant for our audience, is their role in the state's affordable housing pipeline.
Even within Southern California, there is quite a bit of variance in the figures on a county-by-county basis. Here are some of the local numbers for 2023.
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.
As with last year, figures have continued to creep gradually upward. L.A. County's median income now checks in at $98,200, up from $91,000 last year and $80,000 in 2021. Likewise, Orange County has soared to $127,800 from $119,000 in 2022 and $106,700 in 2021. Of course, those figures fall well short of Santa Clara County, where the median household brings in more than $180,000 per year - the highest figure in the state.
HCD's uses its own methodology for the "Acutely Low Income," category, which is unique to California through the adoption of AB 1043 in 2021. It corresponds to 15 percent of the county's median income level. 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 the past, the methodology used can create some interesting results for L.A. County, where the low-income limit continues to slightly exceed the area median income level.
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