Los Angeles County is short half a million affordable rental homes and low-income residents are feeling the squeeze.
Just over 499,000 low-income renter households lack access to an affordable home, according to California Housing Partnership’s “2021 Los Angeles County Housing Need Report.” Urbanize first reported on the study data.
The abysmal numbers actually represent a slight improvement from the 516,946 renters who lacked access in 2019. But it lags far behind the rises in allocated funding.
The state doubled the money it set aside for affordable housing production and preservation from fiscal years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, and the federal government increased funding by half over that period.
The vast majority of low-income households have to spend a high percentage of their income for a roof over their heads, the report found.
More than three quarters of “extremely low-income” households spend over half their income on rent, and about 90 percent spend more than a third of their income on rent.
For “low-income” households earning slightly more, the news was a little better. About 55 percent in that category spent more than a third of their income on rent, and 13 percent spent more than half their income on rent.
Only 28 percent of moderate-income renters spent more than a third of their income on rent, and just 2 percent spent more than half their income on rent.
Average asking rent in L.A. County is $1,998. The report determined that a renting household would need to bring in $6,627 per month — roughly $38 per hour with a full-time schedule — to afford that rent as a third of their income.
State officials have taken up some measures to boost housing production, including a bill to allow developers to build on commercial sites without needing to rezone them. Gov. Gavin Newsom also signed a bill last month streamlining environmental reviews on some projects.
[Urbanize] — Dennis Lynch