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Chapter 1: Understanding the crisis

Root causes: housing unaffordability

Our homelessness crisis is our housing crisis. Rents are rising, wages are not keeping pace, and there are too many people living on the brink of homelessness without enough affordable housing to meet demand.

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Of the many factors driving homelessness across L.A., the lack of affordable housing is the clear leading cause.

Rents are rising while wages are stagnant. More people experiencing homelessness are moving back inside than ever before, but it’s still not enough to keep up with the rising pace of people falling into homelessness.

Each day in 2019 we housed 133 people, but 150 new people lost their homes. With 600,000 people spending 90% of their income on rent and a shortfall of 500,000 units within low-income renters’ budgets, we need to begin any conversation about the root causes of homelessness by discussing the extreme lack of affordable housing in our region.

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Solutions to our homelessness crisis

Homelessness is a complicated, enormous problem. The good news is that we know how to solve it. For the first time, L.A. County has a comprehensive plan and the necessary resources to enact it. One major pillar of this plan is creating more supportive and affordable housing. This is where we focus most of our advocacy efforts.

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