As home prices continue a herky-jerky march upward in Greater Los Angeles, and as rents skyrocket and short-term rentals like Airbnb displace longtime tenants from their rent-stabilized units, more and more people are facing a homeless crisis not of their own making. Earlier this week, L.A. County released results of its latest homeless head count. The Westside of L.A., particularly, experienced a huge leap: 19% more people are homeless there than in 2018.
Many lawmaker and social workers say that common causes of homelessness—mental illness, substance abuse, and gender identity discrimination—are joined by a new cause: Lack of affordability. And although U.S. home prices overall rose at their slowest pace in more than 6 years in March (a sign weaker sales are keeping a lid on price increases), L.A.’s home prices inched-up 1.3% (essentially staying “the same as” last year’s prices).
Those and other statistics were found in an S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index study, released this week. The report cited that prices nationwide in March climbed 2.7% over March of 2018, barely down from February 2019’s gain of 3% over February 2018.
Even with March’s barely-smaller increase, home prices continued to rise more quickly than inflation (which increased 2% in March from a year ago). This condition is a contributing factor to an “affordability gap,” that could lead to someone not being able to find housing that fits into their budget. And that could be the first step to no housing at all.
During June’s gay pride season, consider a donation to the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which provides social services and affordable housing to at-risk youth and seniors—and everyone in between.
Have a great Pride weekend.