The current California affordable housing crisis will only worsen if nothing more is done to protect the thousands of subsidized affordable rental homes at risk of market rate conversion. According to the Affordable Homes At Risk | 2022 Report by the California Housing Partnership, 20,792 subsidized affordable rental homes have already been lost through conversion to market rate units and 7,053 more are at risk of conversion to market rate as soon as this year. The Partnership has also begun early research into the number of unsubsidized apartments still affordable to low income renters in California, often referred to as “naturally-occurring” affordable housing or NOAHs. Defining the universe of California’s subsidized and unsubsidized affordable rental homes compared to its vast lower income renter population puts into perspective why every affordable home is vital to preserve.
“This evidence presented showcases the need for state action to even the purchasing playing field by developing the Community Anti-Displacement and Preservation Program (Bloom) and to encourage owners to preserve public assets with the Affordable Housing Preservation Tax Credit, AB 1911 (Gabriel),” says Mark Stivers, Director of Legislative & Regulatory Advocacy of the California Housing Partnership.
By 2031, more than 32,700 more affordable homes could lose their affordability. Over 40% of these apartments are home to seniors on fixed incomes and people with disabilities. If nothing is done to preserve these at-risk affordable rental homes, thousands of low-income seniors, families, and individuals may be at risk of unmanageable rent hikes and eviction. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shine a light on the wealth and income inequities in our country and in California, especially for Black, Indigenous and people of color, where paying exorbitant rents means forgoing medical care, food, child care, and other necessary expenses.