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Last Updated 7/3/2018
Rising housing and living costs have reached all-time highs in many Counties throughout California, which is bringing new attention to the struggle and burdens of home ownership. If you pay more than 30 percent of your gross income, meaning the income you earn before taxes, you are considered “housing burdened”. This means you may not have enough money for other living expenses such as food, clothing, transportation and medical needs. According to a new report from the United Way, an estimated 40 percent of Californians are spending more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing. About 3.3 million households across the state do not earn enough income to meet all of their basic needs. Nine out of ten households that are considered “housing burdened” are employed, showing that one of the main challenges is affordability and wage earnings, not unemployment. It is also estimated that 2.3 million households fall below the national poverty line, with spending an average of 79 percent of income just on housing. A projected 3.5 million additional low-income residents are needed to meet existing demand. “A severe shortage of affordable housing is a brute fact in most California communities… it should be clear that we cannot build our way out of the affordability problem,” the United Way report stated.