(This show originally aired on May 10, 2016)
It is becoming even more expensive to rent in Los Angeles, according to the new 2016 Affordability Report by the California Housing Partnership.
With over 4 million residents, Los Angeles has more people living in it than ever before, and experts say there is just not enough room. It is no longer economically feasible for most to live in LA County.
On average, residents pay over $2,000 dollars a month in rent. The area has a high number of low-income tenants, and many are rent burdened.
“The common thinking is that you shouldn’t pay more than 30 percent of your income in rent,”said Elizabeth Blaney, the Co-Executive Director of the Boyle Heights community organization Union de Vecinos. “I think that should be a little bit lower, because 30 percent still is a lot for a lot of low income and extremely low income families,”
New data shows that on average, those who are considered low income are spending 71 percent of their paychecks on rent. They are left with only 29 percent to spend on food, transportation, health care, and other needs.
“What you have is an increase in demand, which means the economy is doing really well,”said CSUN Economics Professor Shirley Svorney, “so it’s kind of like when we have congestion on the freeways. It’s because people are buying houses; that’s what pushes up the prices. On the supply side, there’s a lot of restrictions on building, regulations, zoning, and other types of government requirements that make it more costly to build.”
Svorney said another factor driving up housing costs is that Los Angeles is an agglomeration economy. This means that more jobs are located closely within the area, making the real estate even more valuable.
“A lot of middle class people are leaving,” said CSUN Political Science Professor Tom Hogen-esch. “Teachers and firefighters, even people in the traditional professions, are facing this. They’re sort of middle class, housing poor, and so almost everybody is under at least some pressure in terms of the cost of housing here.”
The Ellis Act is a state law that says landlords can rightfully evict tenants in order to “go out of business.” The entire building can be cleared out. This is one of many tactics used by landlords to tear down affordable housing and turn it into high priced housing.
California is the number one state in poverty rates when housing is taken into accounted. The 2016 homeless count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority found that 46,874 homeless people are living in LA County. Experts say there are many reasons for homelessness, but lack of affordable housing is certainly one.
In order to rent “burden free” in this city, a household would need to make more than $40 an hour, four times the current minimum wage.
Moderator: Haley Kramer
Anchor: Ajo Adelaja
Producer: Valerie Hernandez
Social Media Editors: Ajo Adelaja and Valerie Hernandez
Reporters: Ajo Adelaja, Harry Bennett III, Jarvis Haren, Valerie Hernandez, Haley Kramer, Sofia Levin and Mariah Robinson
See the original post for this show [here].
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