Why is Affordable Housing So Scarce? 

  • Within a span of only eight months in 2011, current Gov. Jerry Brown dissolved approximately 400 redevelopment agencies (RDAs) and absorbed their funds into the state’s general fund for other uses. The dissolution of RDAs created more than a $1 billion gap statewide in local housing subsidy. 
  • The exhaustion of state housing bonds funded by Propositions 46 and Prop 1C means the loss of an additional $400 million dollars per year in state investment in housing for low- and moderate-income households.
  • California’s shortfall of affordable homes has become more acute, as the state has reduced its direct funding for the development of affordable homes by 79 percent.

How big is the affordable housing shortage?

There are more than 19 million families that are “housing insecure”, meaning they’re either experiencing homelessness or paying more than half of their monthly income on housing. In California, there is a shortfall of 956,461 homes affordable and available to California’s moderate and low-income households. Current programs aren’t meeting the needs of these and other struggling families.  Families who are severely burdened by housing costs are often just one paycheck or unexpected expense away from losing their homes. And high home prices push homeownership out of reach for many. Californians are also four times more likely to live in crowded housing. This makes it more difficult for companies to hire and retain qualified employees. Housing insecurity impacts everything from health to education outcomes to economic opportunities. Stable housing is the foundation of individual success, strong families, and thriving communities. 

“All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.”
— Albert Einstein