May 1, 2018

New reports released today by the California Housing Partnership  (in collaboration with local and regional housing organizations) document the dire conditions facing low-income renters in seven Bay Area counties - Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Fresno, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma - and recommend policy solutions to state and local elected leaders.

"These reports show the relationship between the crippling loss of state redevelopment and housing bond funding and a significant increase in homelessness, gaps in affordable housing supply and poverty levels in these seven Bay Area counties," said Matt Schwartz, President and CEO of the California Housing Partnership.

Report highlights include:
  • Alarming increases in homelessness in the past year including a 47% increase in Sacramento County, a 36% increase in Alameda County, and a 13% increase in Santa Clara County.
  • Sonoma County, where 2,200 low-income households lost their homes due to fires last year, lost 89% of its federal and state housing funds in the past decade, resulting in a shortfall of 14,634 affordable homes with virtually no vacancies and rapidly rising rents.
  • Contra Costa County lost a shocking 83% of its state and federal funding since 2008 without any local efforts to replace these lost resources, resulting in a shortfall of 31,139 affordable homes at a time of rising rents.
  • Poverty levels in San Mateo County have risen 137% from the official federal rate of 7% to 16.6% primarily due to increases in housing costs.
  • Fresno County renters are spending a shocking 73% of their income on rent, leaving little left for other essentials.
In order to address these housing emergencies, the reports recommend policy solutions for state and local leaders to take action on, including:
  • Immediately investing $1 billion of the state's budget surplus to finance the development of permanently affordable rental housing and another $1 billion for supportive housing for the homeless.
  • Restoring state redevelopment funding for affordable housing at an initial amount of $1 billion annually.
  • Aggressively campaigning for the passage of the $4 billion Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond of 2018.
  • Reducing the threshold for voter approval of local funding of affordable housing and infrastructure from 67% to 55%.