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Lack of Affordable Housing Driving More Contra Costa County Families into Poverty

Key findings

  • A renter household needs to earn 3.5 times the local minimum wage in order to afford average asking rents in Contra Costa County.
  • Inflation-adjusted median rents in Contra Costa County increased 17% from 2000 to 2013, while inflation adjusted median renter household income declined 7%.
  • Contra Costa County needs 36.759 additional affordable rental homes to meet the needs of its extremely low income (ELI) and very low-income (VLI) renters.
  • The majority of Contra Costa County’s very low-income renters spend more than 50% of income on rent, leaving little left for food, transportation, health expenses, and other needs.
  • When housing and other costs of living are considered, Contra Costa County’s poverty rate rises from 11.9% to 17.1%, or nearly one in five people.
  • Overcrowding for low-income renters in Contra Costa County is 43% above the national average, contributing significantly to poor health and academic achievement among low-income children.
  • Reductions in federal and state funds and elimination of redevelopment have reduced Contra Costa County’s affordable housing funding by over $39.5 million since 2008, a 71% reduction.