McKellogg Housing/Homelessness Q1
The exponential growth of homelessness in Southern California during the last decade has been driven in large part by the growing gap between rising housing costs and stagnant wages for people with low incomes in urban centers. Rising housing costs are a function of demand for market-rate housing and insufficient investment and short supply of affordable housing. People with low and very low incomes are spending more than 50% of income on housing – well above HUD’s housing affordability definition of 30% of pre-tax income. This gap renders housing unaffordable and housing instability and homelessness for many working people is the result. For people who face barriers to finding and keeping a job, the need to be where critical social services and supports are concentrated drives them to urban centers like Skid Row in Los Angeles.