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Lack of Affordable Housing Driving More Santa Clara County Families into Poverty

Key findings

  • A renter household needs to earn nearly five times the local minimum wage in order to afford average asking rents in Santa Clara County.
  • Inflation-adjusted median rents in Santa Clara County increased 10% from 2000 to 2014, while inflation adjusted median renter household income declined 4%.
  • Santa Clara County needs 67,576 additional affordable rental homes to meet the needs of its extremely lowincome (ELI) and very low-income (VLI) renters.
  • The majority of Santa Clara 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, Santa Clara County’s poverty rate rises from 11.9% to 17.1%, or nearly one in five people.
  • Overcrowding for low-income renters in Santa Clara County is 132% higher than 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 Santa Clara County’s affordable housing funding by more than $130 million since 2008, a 83% reduction.