In L.A., housing costs eat up an average of 47 percent of residents’ income—more than any other major U.S. city.
But the greatest cost of our affordable housing crisis is being felt by our most vulnerable neighbors. Steep housing costs are largely responsible for California having the highest poverty rate in the nation when factoring in the cost of living, and rent jumps are increasingly pushing people into homelessness.
Creating more housing that Angelenos can actually afford would benefit the hundreds of thousands of residents who are currently at risk of being displaced and experiencing homelessness.
Here are four more reasons why we need more affordable housing in Los Angeles now:
- L.A.’s housing crisis is a key driver of homelessness. Median rents in our region have increased 32 percent since 2000, while the median renter’s household income decreased by three percent. If we want to end homelessness in L.A., we have to address the root cause: a lack of affordable units. Tweet
- There’s evidence that the situation is getting worse. While overall homelessness went down across L.A. County last year, more than 9,000 people became homeless for the first time, a 16 percent increase from 2017. Most people simply can’t afford to pay twice as much rent from one month to the next, and affordable housing is disappearing fast. The best way to prevent homelessness is to keep people in their homes while we work to build more new housing. Tweet
- Vulnerable folks are the hardest hit by this crisis. Those who are singled out for eviction often are from groups that disproportionately experience homelessness already or have seen recent rises in homelessness. These are low-income tenants and those on fixed incomes, including people with disabilities and the elderly (who are declaring bankruptcy today at triple the rates of the early 1990s). Tweet
- We need to do more to help people with disabilities stay in their homes. Right now, the only rent-stabilized buildings were built before 1978. Back then, landlords didn’t have to make buildings accessible to those with disabilities. (That legislation wouldn’t come until 1990.) This means that no one currently living in an accessible building is protected by rent stabilization. We need to fight for homes that are both affordable and accessible. Tweet
We know you give a damn, and that you’re ready to advocate for real, long-term solutions to ending homelessness. So will you join us by signing up as a team member? We’ll set you up with a plan that makes sense with your schedule. Do it now.