California Article

As Rents Outrun Pay, California Families Live on a Knife’s Edge

As Rents Outrun Pay, California Families Live on a Knife’s Edge

Jill Cowan and Robert Gebeloff with the New York Times explain how California’s severe housing shortage is driving up rents, leaving many lower-income families struggling to stay in neighborhoods they can afford.

Much attention has been focused on the more visible extremes of California’s housing crisis: the $100 million mansions not far from where people live on the streets. But thousands of families like Ms. Fregoso’s — working renters whose pay has inched upward while housing costs have rocketed — are barely hanging on in a housing market that has tipped further and further in favor of homeowners.

As property values rise, the resulting rent increases have forced these tenants to move from home to home, sometimes pushing them into homelessness and often sending them far away from jobs and support networks.

This, experts say, has caused housing shortages to ripple outward from the state’s higher-cost regions, effectively destabilizing the lives of legions of workers who form the base of the state’s economy.

Read more here.


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