Low-income renters can’t even get a basic rental unit in Los Angeles, let alone a three-bedroom apartment.
And for the second year in a row, they can’t get one at all.
In Los Angeles alone, more than half of the rental units that were built in 2015 or later were empty, according to a new report from the City of Los Angeles.
The city estimates that just 9,935 apartments were built during the two-year period.
It says that is a “paltry” figure when you consider that more than 60 percent of Los Angelenos live below the federal poverty level.
The report also shows that more people than ever are paying their rent on time and in full.
But what about those people who can’t afford to pay?
Some of those folks can’t wait for the rent to come due.
Some of those people are working people who are finding it increasingly difficult to find affordable rental apartments.
It’s been that way for decades, says Sarah K. Anderson, a housing and community development professor at Loyola Marymount University.
“There’s a lot of people out there who are stuck with a housing crisis and the only solution to that is to take advantage of other people’s low-income status,” she says.
Anderson says a large part of the problem is the lack of affordable housing in L.A.
That means those people often can’t qualify for federal housing subsidies because they’re in a low-wage job.
But there’s another problem: a lack of rental units in the city.
The problem is not limited to L.I.A., says Anderson.
It’s happening across the nation.
In Los Angeles and across the country, many low-paid workers are unable to find a place to live because the rent isn’t affordable, according.
The lack of rent control also contributes to a housing shortage in the state of California, says Anderson, who has also studied the issue in the past.
“In California, it’s the very first city to be able to impose rent control,” she said.
“It was implemented in 2013.”
California is the first state in the nation to impose such a policy, and it has been successful.
Now, there are nearly 4,000 apartments in the City by the Bay, and the city says it’s on track to meet the goal of 1 million.
But there’s one problem: rents are skyrocketing in some areas of the city, including the Mission District and Chinatown.
The city says the number of new apartments that opened this year was almost 2,000, compared to 2,500 in 2016.
It also says that some landlords are not doing enough to provide affordable rental units.
That could mean that many low income tenants can’t live in their apartments.
It is not just that there is a lack in affordable rental housing, Anderson says.
The high rent also contributes in part to a lack the quality of life for people who live there.
“It’s a very depressing situation for people living in this city,” she adds.
The report by Kroll and Associates also found that the median rent in LACU, an organization that helps low- and moderate-income people in the Los Angeles area, is $1,800 a month.
That’s $2,500 more than in the average LA apartment in the first quarter of 2017.
In the Mission, where most of the new apartment construction is happening, the median income is $26,200, compared with $22,000 in the Mission and the East Village.