New Reports Show Depth of Housing Shortfall in SoCal

The California Housing Partnership released the final installment of its 2017 Housing Needs Assessment series, describing the affordable housing crisis facing lower-income renters in five Southern California counties: Los AngelesRiversideSan BernardinoOrange, and San Diego.

The reports describe a rapid escalation in rents that in combination with a dramatic decline in state and federal funding has led to a shortage of nearly one million affordable homes in these five counties. Finally, the reports offer concrete steps that state and local representatives should take immediately to help lessen the burden on low-income families in these counties.

Key findings from the county reports include: 

  • The five-county area needs 949,016 more affordable rental homes to meet the needs of its lowest-income renters. The shortfall is driven largely by Los Angeles County's deficit of 551,807 affordable homes.
  • When housing costs are considered, Orange County's poverty rate rises from 12.3% to 21.5%.
  • Median rent in San Diego County has increased 36% since 2000 while median renter household income has increased only 4%, when adjusted for inflation.
  • Cuts in federal and state funding, including the elimination of State Redevelopment, have reduced investment in affordable housing production and preservation in the five Counties by more than $986 million annually since 2008, a 71% reduction.
  • Riverside County's lowest-income renters spend 68% of income on rent, leaving little left for food, transportation, health expenses, and other needs. 

SCANPH issued the following policy recommendations as part of CHPC's LA County report:

  • The City of Los Angeles should adopt the Affordable Housing Linkage Fee to create affordable homes.  The County and other Cities in the county should adopt linkage fees also.
  • The County should fully fund its Affordable Housing Program, as called for in the Board of Supervisors October 2015 motion.
  • Los Angeles County and regional cities should offer shallow operating subsidies to help developers provide homes for families and seniors earning less than $20,000 annually who don’t qualify for supportive housing.

Read all the reports here.