Report Claims that Around 1 Million Affordable Homes are Needed for Southern California’s Poor
According to a nonprofit organization called California Housing Partnership Corporation, there is a shortage of one million affordable homes in five Southern California counties. California Housing Partnership is a state-sponsored agency that was created to preserve affordable housing and advise leaders on housing policies. The report includes policy recommendations such as support for proposed legislation designed to raise money for low-income housing. The counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego need 949,016 more affordable homes to meet the needs of families earning 50 percent or less of the median household income. This report comes after a similar report that was issued a couple months ago that stated that the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Sonoma have a shortage of more than 134,000 affordable homes.
The steepest shortage for affordable homes in Southern California is in Los Angeles at 551,807, which is an increase of 8,500 rental units from 2016. The housing shortage means that the lowest-income families in Southern California are spending two-thirds or more of their monthly income on rent, which leaves very little money left over for things such as food or other basic needs. The report claims that the elimination of redevelopment agencies in 2012 meant that nearly $618 million in funding was cut for affordable housing each year. Expiring state housing bonds and federal aid cuts also contributed to the shortage in affordable housing, and this led to a decrease in investments of $986 million a year from 2009 to 2016 in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino. The report also claims that rents have climbed 32 percent in Los Angeles and Riverside counties and between 28 percent in Orange and San Bernardino counties since 2000, when adjusted for inflation. It is important that California increases its affordable housing units to prevent more people from becoming homeless.