Palo Alto subsidized housing Photo: Franco Folini/Flickr

The middle class is struggling in Silicon Valley.

The City of Palo Alto is exploring a proposal that focuses on subsidizing the construction of smaller downtown residential units close to public transit for middle-class income earners who do not meet the threshold for affordable housing.

But there’s a twist. Those who make between $150,000 to $250,000 annually — or over three to five times the national median — are considered middle class in that region.

According to the Social Security Administration, in 2014 the national median household income in the US was $46,481.52.

But in Palo Alto, it seems, real estate prospects are bleak, even for those comfortably making six figures. According to CBS San Francisco, who originally reported on the details of the City’s proposal, “some of the small two-bedroom, one-bath homes… are worth between $1.5 and $2 million — as teardowns.”

Home to tech mega-campuses such as Facebook and Google and the birthplace of many a unicorn and venture capital firm, Palo Alto is wildly on the other side of the spectrum when it comes to the growing wealth disparity in the US.

A press release distributed last year by the United States Census Bureau revealed that Mississippi is the poorest state in the US with a household income of $39,680 as of 2014. Palo Alto’s median household income in the same year was $126,771.

Developments featured in this article

More Like This

Facebook Chatter