I would argue that perhaps the biggest crisis facing America today is our lack of affordable housing. I would also argue that our lack of affordable housing has the biggest influence on the increase of people experiencing homelessness. In addition, if we were actually able to increase affordable housing units, it'd continue to contend doing so would be the biggest influence on reducing homelessness across America.
According to a new report from National Low Income Housing Coalition:
"In the United States, the 2014 two-bedroom Housing Wage is $18.92. This national average is more than two-and-a-half times the federal minimum wage, and 52 percent higher than it was in 2000. In no state can a full-time minimum wage worker afford a one-bedroom or a two-bedroom rental unit at Fair Market Rent.
"A recent Harvard Joint Center for Housing study spells out a critical national shortage -- more than half of low-income tenants today spend more than half of their income on rent. And 21 million people can't find rental homes within their means. The struggle for decent, affordable rental housing is increasingly out of reach not only for the poorest of the poor, but for the middle class as well."
Take a look at some of these Los Angeles statistics:
-- "The median price of a new apartment in Los Angeles in January 2013 was $1,770 which requires an annual income of $70,800 to be affordable.
-- The federal government says that paying more than 30 percent of one's income represents a cost burden leaving insufficient income for other basic needs.
-- The city's median rent increased 31 percent from 2000 to 2010 compared to an increase in incomes of just 1.2 percent."
Our affordable housing crisis is almost old news. We often hear about the problems getting worse, yet rarely do we hear about solutions being placed into action. Councilmembers Mitch O'Farrell, Felipe Fuentes and Gil Cedillo co-introduced motions aimed at fixing the affordable housing crisis in Los Angeles. You can read the Affordable Housing Motion here.
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Daily News published an opinion piece from Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell titled: "Taking steps to ease affordable housing crisis in Los Angeles." It's an important article and an even more important conversation us Angelenos need to pay attention to -- and support!
I was honored to spend a moment with Councilmember O'Farrell talking about affordable housing in Los Angeles. Please watch and share this video with your networks. Please support any initiative that helps incentivize the creation of badly-needed affordable housing. If we don't act now it will be too late!