What is considered affordable housing?

Affordable housing generally means not spending more than 30% of a household’s income on housing, including rent and utilities for renters, and mortgage, interest, insurance, taxes and utilities for homeowners. For purposes of affordable housing planning and funding, State Housing law establishes the following income levels:


Very Low Income

31 to 50% Area Median Income

Low Income

51 to 80% Area Median Income

Moderate Income

81 to 120% Area Median Income

Above Moderate Income

>120% Area Median Income


According to the Census, median household income in Eureka is $46,926 (2017-2021). However, for the purpose of determine affordable housing prices, HCD has set the 2023 median income in Humboldt County at $83,800 for a family of four (HCD raises Humboldt County’s area median income to equal California’s non-metropolitan median income). HCD uses the $83,800 median income value to determine which Humboldt County households qualify as very-low income, low income, and moderate income as follows:


Official 2023 State Income Limits for Humboldt County by Income Category


Household Size

Income Category





Very Low Income





Low Income





Moderate Income






As shown in the table above, if a four-person household earns the median household income in Eureka of $46,926, that household qualifies as low-income. A one-person household earning $46,926 qualifies as moderate income. For context, the minimum wage in California will increase to $16.00 per hour in January 2024. A person working full time (2,080 hours per year) and earning minimum wage will bring home $33,280 in 2024.

Show All Answers

1. What is the project timeline?
2. Who is RCHDC?
3. What was the impetus for this project?
4. What is the City's Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)?
5. How is Eureka doing in terms of RHNA goals?
6. What is considered affordable housing?