As the housing crisis has deepened in recent years, more and more families have been affected, leading some State leaders--particularly those from higher cost coastal areas--to consider investing scarce resources to help the "missing middle" afford housing. But what does the data show? Are median income households unable to afford median market rents? Are median income households severely burdened by housing costs?
A new California Housing Partnership analysis asks these important questions and finds that
median income households can afford modest rents in all but six California counties and in 90% of the state's zip codes, whereas extremely low income households cannot afford modest rents in any California county. The analysis also finds that only 4% of median income households experience severe housing cost burdens, compared to 50% of very low income households and 76% of extremely low income households. The analysis concludes that the State must prioritize its scarce funding resources for Californians at the lowest income levels first or risk continued increases in the numbers of households living in poverty and homelessness.