Co-published by Fast Company
Is our budding tech utopia setting the stage for a working-people’s dystopia? Welcome to California’s cost-of-living crisis.
California’s housing shortage has made it difficult to be middle class and harder to be poor. Today’s median-priced California home costs more than twice the median-priced U.S. home, according to Zillow.
Co-published by International Business Times
In California’s recent legislative “grand compromise” of an affordable housing package, developers got subsidies for building and a streamlined path to construction. It’s hard to see what they gave up in the exchange.
Co-published by The American Prospect
California’s red-hot housing market has made renters vulnerable to rapidly increasing rents that they struggle to pay, or to evictions implemented by landlords who want to raise the rent on new tenants.
California’s housing predicament has been at critical mass for a long time – on any given night there are 47,000 homeless people living on L.A. County streets.
Rarely has a ballot measure united so many divergent groups in opposition as has Measure S, a proposition on the city’s March 7 ballot that would impose strict limits on development.
Sasha Abramsky: Why hopes are riding on the Build Better LA Initiative.
In Santa Monica a group of residents – frustrated by traffic and angry at developers – has placed a no-growth measure on the local ballot. It would force nearly all new projects higher than 32 feet to a citywide vote. The backers of Measure LV say that it’s buildings of all kinds – whether they house people or create jobs – that bring choking traffic.
The shortage of affordable rental housing can be traced directly to the 1980s when the federal government sharply curtailed domestic spending.
The way Esther Delahey sees it, her neighborhood in south Fresno, the Lowell district, has gotten a bad rap. Named in 1884 for the New England poet James Russell Lowell, the district is part of a larger area, hemmed in by three highways.
California leads the nation in having the most severely rent-burdened households, as well as having the largest shortage of affordable rental homes. (The U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development and other agencies consider families that spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent as rent-burdened.)
Isabelle Lopez, her husband and their dog live in a tiny room, perhaps 130 square feet, in the impoverished Lacy neighborhood in the Orange County city of Santa Ana.
Housing developers – whether they specialize in market-rate properties or affordable housing – face tremendous hurdles in getting projects off the ground in California. “There’s probably a hundred challenges,” says Cynthia Parker, the president and chief executive officer of BRIDGE Housing, a nonprofit housing developer based in San Francisco. See More Stories in Capital & […]
Grade-school art teacher Melissa Jones is attending the opening of an exhibit called Roofless: Art Against Displacement at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa. It is a cold, rainy night in early January. Jones is a single mother; she and her 12-year-old son live in a one-bedroom basement flat in the nearby rural community […]
It’s no secret that California residents pay more for housing than residents in most other states, especially in the metropolitan coastal areas and Silicon Valley cities. Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto and other highly attractive, jobs- and amenities-rich cities are widely documented as being the least-affordable housing markets in California. […]
One block north of fabled Hollywood Boulevard, and a stone’s throw from the iconic Capitol Records Building, sit three rent-stabilized, two-story apartment buildings, known to residents as the Yucca-Argyle complex. One building is peach-colored, one green and the third yellow. Each is organized around a small courtyard and in back is a parking lot for […]
Photojournalist Ted Soqui shot these images for today’s story by Sasha Abramsky, Renting in Los Angeles — Dislocation, Dislocation, Dislocation. See More Stories in Capital & Main’s Affordable Housing Series
California’s housing crisis is a complex one, as befits a state with a population of close to 40 million people, spread out over 163,696 square miles, and with some of the country’s largest cities and fastest growing population hubs, as well as some of its most rugged rural areas. See More Stories in Capital & […]
“No Direction Home” reaches many troubling conclusions about California’s housing market
“It’s raining! It’s pouring! Evictions are soaring!” chanted the small but defiant crowd on the corner of Vermont and Franklin avenues in Los Angeles’ gentrifying Los Feliz neighborhood. Holding signs reading, “Honk if your rent is too high” and “Where will you go when you can’t afford your neighborhood?” the demonstrators had come to protest […]
High rent and low wages are squeezing poor and low-income families across California, including those living in its capital. But the Sacramento City Council’s actions on both economic issues are weak, some progressive critics say. “The city caters to the continued gentrification of downtown,” Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End […]
It’s just after dusk on a recent Friday in Los Angeles and already the streets of Los Feliz Village are bumper-to-bumper with the inflow of weekend diners, cocktail loungers and movie- and theatergoers along its main drag, Vermont Avenue. Apart from being a nightlife hub, the neighborhood boasts highly rated public schools, a very good […]
History may record the August 2014 sale of the Villa Carlotta in Hollywood’s Franklin Village neighborhood as the moment in time when the legendary ‘Grande Dame’ became a statistic. The 1926 apartment building was famously a stop along the path through Hollywood for numerous actors, musicians and other artists, but it has also been a […]
Thanks to the determined efforts of tenant activists and area residents, real estate developer Matthew Jacobs’ plan to demolish eight affordable housing units in the Fairfax District and replace them with “luxury” living accommodations has been put on hold—for now. Jacobs (who recently resigned from his chairman post at the California Housing Finance Agency), his […]
For some people, renting a house or apartment in San Francisco is easy. If your gross pay adds up to $200,000 a year, for example, you might feel fine about sinking a third of this year’s salary into a bright, one-bedroom South Beach loft, or a two-bedroom loft with a view in the Castro District […]
Steven Luftman did not have much to feel good about last Tuesday as he stood in the TSA line before catching a flight from Sacramento to Los Angeles. After all, he was in the process of being evicted from his Fairfax District rental under the state’s Ellis Act, a law that speculators often use to kick […]
As rental prices skyrocket in Los Angeles, landlords are increasingly kicking out long-term tenants to clear the way for more affluent residents. Lovell Estell III’s story last May about the bittersweet end of Catherine Green’s 30-year tenancy at the Boulevard Villa apartment complex profiled one such case. When she was a child, Green and her family left Jim […]
“The Lord has always taken care of me,” says Catherine Green, as she emerges from a moment of reflection and peers intently around her living room. On a plaque by the kitchen are words from Isaiah: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” She says the quote has always given her strength in difficult times. […]
For Catherine Green, home for the last three decades has been a comfortable apartment in the sprawling 43-unit Boulevard Villa near Crenshaw and Venice boulevards in Mid-City Los Angeles. Her alert gaze, energetic demeanor and perfect posture give no hint of a life that’s spanned 90 years. “I was one of the first people to […]