In a recent report on US cities with the highest unaffordability index based on the cost of goods, rents, and real estate prices, Los Angeles did not make the top 10. The number one least affordable city in the US was San Francisco, California.
Even though Los Angeles is more affordable than many other large U.S. cities, unaffordable housing in the city continues to grow annually at double-digit percentages and currently has become one of Los Angeles’ top priority issues, replacing gridlock traffic and crime.
Point of fact, affordable housing is a catchall for pressing issues facing many major metropolitan cities, Los Angeles included. These cities will need to address the societal challenges of affordable housing, workforce/service sector housing, public housing, homelessness, mental care services, and shifting transient populations.
The following numbers provide a snapshot of the current housing situation in Los Angeles. In the past years, there has been progress but stalled or derailed major housing initiatives, and other factors have had an overall result of basic housing not keeping up with demand.
Los Angeles County Statistics (approximate)
- Population of almost 10 million
- Over 200 global ethnicities
- 1,613 affordable apartment properties
- 114,855 total low-income apartment units
- $1,231 median rent
- Over 66,000 homeless
Los Angeles continues to be committed to finding solutions to its housing and street population issues. According to a source at the Los Angeles County Controller’s Office, Los Angeles County in fact has a surplus of funds to address the affordability housing issue, as well as related challenges.
Key questions for Los Angeles are how can, and at what cost, will the private sector and policymakers, lawmakers, and workforce form a stronger strategic alliance to better define common interest goals. Once the majority supports housing goals that are clearly defined, there can be a pathway to implementation and solutions.
City and state governments need to continue to recognize private sector housing opportunities and risks. Currently, there are several private sector investment opportunities, including deferred tax incentive programs, opportunity zone investments, streamlining funding and grant processing, and reassessing fee structures to expedite construction and prefabricated home building and permitting.
For more information on Los Angeles housing programs, you may visit https://housing.lacity.org.