Tech boom pricing out many longtime San Francisco residents

Tech boom pricing out San Francisco residents

Northern California's high-tech boom is turning into a bust for many longtime residents of San Francisco. They say housing costs are getting so high that they're getting priced out of the city they've called home for decades.

"I've been in San Francisco since the 70s," Meghan Sweet told CBS News. "And it was a wonderful place to be in my 20s and 30s and 40s, but now that I'm in my 60s, I mean, I can't even afford a cup of coffee anymore."

A new survey says the Bay Area has three of the top five most expensive cities in the country for living comfortably.

In San Francisco, a family of four with an income less than $117,000 a year is considered low-income by federal housing authorities, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports. A two-bedroom apartment in the city has a fair-market rent of $3,100 a month.

Meanwhile, in cities like Houston, low-income families earn slightly less than $60,000.

Another study shows people who moved to San Francisco between 2010 and 2016 made almost $19,000 more than former residents.

That's causing problems for people like Rebekah Werth, who just had a baby and is looking for a two-bedroom apartment with her husband.

"A lot of our friends have moved deeper into the East Bay or to L.A. or Portland," Werth said. "We think about all that."

Those who are staying are getting resourceful. One restaurant, Souvla, serves fine food and wine, but no waiters.

"Because of this model we are able to keep our prices the way that they are," founder and CEO Charles Bililies said, "We are able to keep the product the way that it is."

Rising prices, particularly for housing, are a major challenge facing London Breed, elected mayor of San Francisco just last month. 

"Between 2010 and 2018, for every eight jobs we created, we created one unit of housing," Breed said. "There has to be balance."