What Is The Housing Crisis – California’s housing crisis is complex in a state of nearly 40 million people with more than 163,696 square miles, some of the nation’s largest cities and fastest-growing population centers, and some of the roughest areas. Countryside.

Los Angeles’ Skid Row, located just a few blocks from downtown’s skyscrapers, has one of the highest concentrations of chronically homeless people in the developed world. They live in tents and shacks crowded on sidewalks and empty lots surrounded by social service buildings, creating a shockingly tragic scene. Just a few miles away, middle- and working-class tenants are being evicted from rent-controlled housing and moving to the suburbs or sleeping on the couches of friends and relatives. The migration comes as developers seek to take advantage of Hollywood’s high property values ​​and the city’s “densification” development strategy, which prioritizes high-end, large-scale housing projects for middle-income families and the general public at affordable prices. new housing. The working poor.

What Is The Housing Crisis

What Is The Housing Crisis

Extreme poverty and wealth create a strange dance in the housing story of Los Angeles, just as it does in northern San Francisco.

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“A lot of tenants are very angry,” said tenant organizer Daunte Ryan, a Hollywood artist whose activism background dates back to his work with ACT UP in the 1990s. “It affects mental health and mental health.” “Physically.

In the Central Valley, by contrast, deep concentrations of poverty in cities like Fresno, which has the third-highest poverty rate among the nation’s metropolitan areas, maintain informal housing. Two decades ago, the nation’s political leadership eliminated 100,000 public housing units in a deal struck between former President Bill Clinton and a conservative Congress. Years later, in 2011, the California Legislature, at the behest of Governor Jerry Brown, rescinded a plan to direct billions of dollars in state funding to local redevelopment agencies. Today, while nonprofit home builders like the Fresno Housing Authority and Self-Help strive to provide decent, affordable housing for the lucky few, demand far outstrips supply. Tens of thousands of families are poor enough to receive housing vouchers, affordable housing in mixed-income units, or public housing, but most families do not receive an apartment or house at all.

Nearly 67,000 Fresno area families are on a waiting list for these programs. Each year, the problem worsens as federal housing investment lags. Making the issue more urgent than ever is that much of California’s population growth in the coming years is expected to occur in Central Valley cities. In the absence of large-scale investment in affordable housing, more and more Californians in Silicon Valley will spend a generation living in slums at the mercy of a private rental market that has no regard for their basic needs and dignity.

In Orange County, widespread affluence has pushed property values ​​beyond the reach of low-wage, mostly undocumented service workers who cater to the consumption needs of affluent residents. That’s why there are years-long waiting lines for Section 8 vouchers (for eligible recipients who pay up to 30% of their income in rent, with the government paying the difference up to a certain rent cap); building affordable housing due to scarcity; Due to a severe shortage of public housing, the population doubled, tripled, or quadrupled, creating some of the most crowded and unsanitary living conditions in the United States.

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“Where do I go without a job?” asked Santa Ana resident Concepcion, an undocumented immigrant who has exhausted her legal options and faces imminent deportation. She lives with her husband and three children in a small room in a small house in a poor area of ​​the city. Recently, a teenager who lived nearby pointed a gun at a police officer, and to Concepcion’s horror, she saw a heavily armed SWAT team approaching her window. “Affordable housing?” he asked. “I don’t qualify. It’s either here under the bridge or in the public library with the homeless.”

It’s a choice many Santa Anas have had to make. A recent city survey of its floating population found more than 400 people living around the Civic Center Plaza and another 400 along the Santa Ana Riverbed. According to Judson Brown, director of housing for the city’s Department of Community Development, there are only 185 beds available for the homeless in Santa Ana, and nearly three-quarters of those are only available during the cold winter months.

Unrest spreads as urban dominoes rise from Bay Area real estate boom.

What Is The Housing Crisis

Urban real estate unrest is on the rise in the Bay Area as San Francisco’s booming real estate market continues to have spillovers into neighboring counties. Within the city itself, single-family apartments in traditional immigrant and working-class neighborhoods like the Mission District have been transformed into multimillion-dollar tech youth housing, fueled by the presence of many of the world’s best tech companies in the area. a constant problem. Silicon Valley. A few miles south.

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Across the bay from Oakland, the gritty neighborhoods west and north of the city are rapidly becoming gentrified. This has certain advantages – lower crime and increased economic activity – but also many downsides. Historically, African-American and Latino neighborhoods have seen a disproportionate wave of white aristocrats and Asian Americans buying, as they and investors snap up all the properties that come on the market. Current residents find they can no longer afford the high rents and are forced to move away from their jobs and the schools their children attend. People with few resources were forced out of their homes and essentially asked to start over. .

Disturbance spreads further afield as the Bay Area real estate boom knocks the city dominoes. Over the past few months, longtime working-class residents of Redwood City and other nearby towns have been displaced overnight by a tsunami of real estate investors who have taken advantage of their proximity to Silicon Valley and San Francisco. With no coherent strategy for developing affordable housing in these cities, local housing activists fear that low- and moderate-income families will no longer be able to stay in the cities.

His series revolves around California’s housing crisis, which shows no signs of abating. We chose not to focus on chronic homelessness here because it is a complex saga that includes discussions of mental health and addiction services, and the ways in which children, veterans, and former inmates are neglected. The wider community, itself, deserves a sequel.

Instead, in this series we will focus primarily on those who have a roof over their heads, but whose situation is becoming increasingly precarious.

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The affordable housing crisis didn’t come out of nowhere, but it has its roots in the recent recession and laws passed years ago that tilted California’s housing relationship in favor of landlords and developers. When the housing market collapsed eight years ago, homeowners bore a greater burden and entire neighborhoods were devastated by foreclosures. Now that California’s real estate market is recovering, landlords are once again building their paper wealth. As property values ​​rise, especially in booming coastal cities, renters suffer the most.

As previously reported, Gov. Brown’s repeal of the California Redevelopment Authority program — in response to the state’s post-2008 financial crisis — removed hundreds of millions of dollars from local housing budgets overnight. Unsurprisingly, more and more people are missing out on quality housing, facing a catastrophic lack of serious investment in decent, affordable housing – and in this case, slums are filling the gap.

Tenants also face California’s Ellis Act, which provides a mechanism for landlords to evict rent-controlled tenants, demolish properties and redevelop them into expensive housing. They are grappling with the state’s Costa-Hawkins bill, which was pushed in the 1990s by a number of conservative political lobbyists who pushed Proposition 13 to victory in 1978, which banned cities from renting properties built after 1995 for stability reasons. California’s housing crisis? Last year, the head of the government agency responsible for implementing affordable housing projects resigned under pressure after activists revealed he was evicting tenants from properties he owned to replace affordable units with luxury apartments.

What Is The Housing Crisis

In the coming days, we’ll be talking about struggling middle- and working-class people in an era when public investment in affordable housing lags shamefully and politicians too often cater to the needs of developers over the needs of low-income groups. Tenants and landlords.

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