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New Report Finds the Average Bay Area Household Spends Nearly 60 Percent of Their Income on Housing and Transportation Costs Alone

Bay Area Burden, a new report released today by the ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing finds that the average Bay Area household spends more than $41,000 a year – nearly 60 percent of their income – on housing and transportation costs alone.

These costs vary among the nine Bay Area counties examined, ranging from 54 percent in Santa Clara to 66 percent in Sonoma. But the study finds that one fourth of all households in the Bay Area live in neighborhoods where housing and transportation costs account for 65 percent or more of income – a level defined as an extreme housing and transportation cost burden.

The report, produced in partnership with NHC’s research affiliate the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, provides a comprehensive analysis of the “cost of place” in nine counties located throughout the San Francisco region by examining the costs and impacts of housing and transportation on residents, their neighborhoods and the environment. The report demonstrates the severity of the problem in the region and how the combined costs of housing and transportation are leaving San Francisco Bay Area workers with insufficient resources to meet their basic needs. The report finds that three fifths of all Bay Area residents live in communities that are unaffordable to households earning less than $80,000.

Two former Secretaries of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who are now ULI Terwilliger Center Board members, Henry Cisneros and Steve Preston, attended a press conference today along with other Bay Area leaders, to announce the report, a new website at and cost calculator, all designed to bring greater awareness and understanding of these issues and their impact on communities. To view the media release, please click here.

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