10/17/2021

“I Got Mine”

The numbers in California tell a dire story these days: In 2018, despite low unemployment and high wages, the state’s population grew at its slowest rate in history. Fewer people are coming and more people are leaving because it’s very hard to find a place to live. In the past two years, homelessness is up 17 percent in San Francisco and 43 percent in Oakland’s Alameda County. Counties in Silicon Valley and the Inland Empire also recorded double-digit homelessness increases. Compared with the national figures, the state’s home prices are 2.5 times above average, while rents are 50 percent above average. “While many factors have a role in driving California’s high housing costs,” the nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst’s Office concludes, “the most important is the significant shortage of housing, particularly within coastal communities.”

How many people must live in the street before we can build new homes?

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