A new report from California Housing Partnership Corporation (CHPC), entitled How California’s Housing Market is Failing to Meet the Needs of Low-Income Families, documents the housing affordability crisis across the state. The report states that median rents have increased over 20% between 2000 and 2012, while median incomes dropped 8% during the same time period in California. There is not a single county or legislative district in the entire state that has an adequate supply of housing affordable to extremely low income (ELI) households.
Citing NLIHC tabulations, the authors report that the percentage of ELI households that were devoting more than 50% of their income toward rent rose from 64% in 2000 to 80% in 2012. The percentage of very low income (VLI) households paying over 50% of their income in rent also rose, from 30% in 2000 to 53% by 2012.
Despite the great need for affordable housing, investment in California towards housing programs fell by 79% between FY07-08 and FY12-13. The elimination of Redevelopment Agency funding in 2012 led to the loss of $1 billion per year. Additionally, state housing bonds funded through Propositions 46 and 1C have been exhausted, reducing funds available for affordable housing production by another $400 million dollars per year. Lastly, cuts to federal programs have resulted in losses of about $200 million dollars per year.
The California Housing Partnership Corporation urges legislators to take three steps towards addressing the need for additional affordable housing. First, legislators should pass the Homes and Jobs Act, dedicating new funding to affordable housing. Second, they recommend strengthening measures to dedicate funding to affordable housing production at the municipal level. Finally, they recommend investing Cap and Trade auction revenues towards the production of affordable housing near transit.
The report can be accessed on CHPC’s website at: http://bit.ly/1hcpMMW