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County’s Affordable Housing Stock Falls Short of Goal

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Los Angeles County’s stock of affordable housing for low- and extremely low-income families is short by nearly 500,000 homes, the highest shortfall of any county in the state, according to a report released May 28 by a pair of nonprofit groups.

The report by the California Housing Partnership Corporation and Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing called on the county Board of Supervisors to take action to meet the housing needs of low-income residents.

According to the report, about 1 million low-income households in California do not have access to affordable housing. In Los Angeles County, the problem worsened between 2000 and 2012, when median rents rose by 25 percent while median incomes declined by 9 percent, the report found.

The study concluded that 91 percent of the county’s very low-income households – including seniors, disabled people and families of three earning around $38,000 a year – do not have access to an affordable home.

According to the study’s authors, the elimination of redevelopment agencies cost Los Angeles County about $250 million a year in funding for affordable housing, while federal housing funds were cut by 62 percent.

“This report points out empirically what low-income county residents already know – the cost of a home continues to go up while their incomes continue to go down,” according to Alan Greenlee of SCANPH. “This fact threatens the strength of our entire community by impacting our infrastructure, our air quality and more importantly the families who are suffering from poor quality of life.

“We need to act now because the housing market has not kept up with the housing needs. We’re not entering a crisis, the crisis is already here,” he added.