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With Rents Up and Incomes Down, LA is Extremely Short on Affordable Housing

Los Angeles County has the largest shortfall of homes affordable to low-income families in California,” begins a new report by the California Housing Partnership Corp., a non-profit org set up by the state, as seen inBloomberg Businessweek. And it goes on from there—to say that the county’s about 490,340 affordable/available housing units short of where it has to be to meet the needs of its very-low income and extremely low-income residents. Because there isn’t enough housing available within financial reach for so many renters, they might instead live in slummy and unsafe conditions or cram into apartments (LA is home to the most crowded zip code in the country and several of the runners-up).

Contributing to the shortage is the fact that median rents increased by 25 percent between 2000 and 2012, while the median income declined by 9 percent over the same period. (Both adjusted for inflation.) You can see maps of how that plays out—with higher and higher percentage of incomes going toward rent—right here. More than 143,000 new renter households have entered the market since 2006, too. Meanwhile, the amount of money going toward new affordable housing has been slashed and slashed.

The CHPC’s recommends, among other things, using some money from property taxes to make up for funding cut elsewhere and pushing Metro to create transit-oriented developments for this sector of the renting pool. · Housing Market Report [CHPC] · LA’s Scary Shortage of Affordable Housing, By the Numbers [Curbed LA]