Harvard Housing Report Presents Bleak Picture on Affordability

The latest report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies says that Los Angeles has hit a record-high in homelessness. In addition, the cost burden shares in Los Angeles were 57%. This can be attributed to the large number of developments entering the upper end of the market and the lack of units that are filtering down to affordable prices. It is evident in this report that purely increasing the housing supply will not fix this crisis, especially in Los Angeles. A correction needs to be made in Southern California that will direct housing to the lower market where it is needed. The linkage fee would help steer development in the right direction. Read the full report here.
The Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies’ latest report talks about the housing shortages and rising home prices in the metros nationwide. Los Angeles appears multiple times throughout the report, but not as a model city. The report suggests that it will take the collaboration of the private and nonprofit sectors to address the nation's housing problem.
Key Facts:

  • The percentage of Americans living in high poverty areas rose from 43% to 54% between 2000-2015.
  • Housing’s overall share of the economy was 3.8% of the GDP. Previously, it had averaged 4.5% since 1959.
  • “The number of units renting for $2,000/month or more has increased by 97% in real terms between 2005 and 2015” (pg 28)
  • “⅓ of US households paid more than 30% of their incomes for housing in 2015” (pg 31)
  • 25% of Angeleno homeowners have a sufficient income to pay the median monthly payment 
  • Cost burden shares in LA are 57%
  • In LA, 70% of renters earning $30,000-$45,000 are cost burdened and 50% of renters earning $45,000-$75,000 are cost burdened
Jeannette BrownComment