The Student News Site of Dos Pueblos High School

The Charger Account

The Student News Site of Dos Pueblos High School

The Charger Account

The Student News Site of Dos Pueblos High School

The Charger Account

California’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions

Graphic done by Lu Azios

California is facing an increasing problem: affordable housing. According to the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, California has struggled with housing prices for decades. Specifically in Santa Barbara, HACSB said the need for affordability within housing is “relevant and needed.”

The growing population and extreme demand for housing has left many California residents dealing with financial hardships. Sara Kimberlin of California Budget and Policy Center has recognized this affordable housing problem.

“One in five households across California [are facing] severe housing cost burdens,” Kimberlin said. “[People are] spending more than half of their income towards housing expenses.”

For low-to-moderate income residents, choosing between paying for a place to live or buying food is constantly up for debate. Such a large issue can feel daunting. However, there are multiple organizations that are actively working to resolve the housing crisis.

According to the California State Treasury, the required annual household income to afford a middle-class home in March 2024 is over two times the median California household income required in 2022. With such high prices, California legislators could permanently expand the tax credit program for low-income housing.

There are also ways in which a housing crisis can be mediated without reducing housing costs. Legal protections can be put into place that prevent the displacement of low-income folks from their homes and protect renters and unhoused people from the discrimination that they so often face.

Another option is the implementation of rental subsidies, such as Housing Is Key, which offer assistance to low-income households struggling to pay their rent or mortgage by paying a portion of it for them. The Californian government could work to give rental subsidies to more people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of it.

Eviction prevention is another form of protection that functions with a variety of strategies, all for the purpose of making sure renters are not evicted from their homes. Some of these strategies provide financial help to people who are in immediate danger, but many are geared towards structural reform. They aim to reduce housing costs, change the relationships between landlords and their tenants, and lower barriers for entry to other rental assistance programs.

The challenges of affordable housing in California are immense, however there are many impactful solutions. Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative suggests that humanizing unhoused people and raising more awareness about the existence of housing support services will help combat the housing crisis.

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About the Contributors
Lu Azios
Lu Azios, Assistant Features Editor
Lu Azios (10) tunes out the real world and dives into the world of fantasy. Their love for reading many genres prevails in their free time, but one genre stands out from the rest. “I'll read anything, but I've always really liked fantasy books,” Lu said. “That's always kind of been like what I read the most of.”
Kristian Lazcano
Kristian Lazcano, Reporter
Kristian Lazcano (10) sits with his notebook. He has been trying to write more in the past months, but has struggled . “Hopefully journalism will open my writing … spectrum a little bit,” Kristian said. “But right now I'm just … I don't want to say ‘writing nonsense’, but in a way I am.”
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