New Bay Area Data: Housing Costs Out of Reach, Needs Grow, Funding Plummets

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For immediate release

Media Contacts: 
Matt Schwartz, x311)
Alina Harway, (415-989-8160 x36)

New Bay Area Data: Housing Costs Out of Reach, Needs Grow, Funding Plummets
New Reports Builds Case for Action

May 6, 2019 (San Francisco Bay Area, California) – Just as supporters and residents across the Bay kick off Affordable Housing Month to explore opportunities and solutions for our region’s housing challenges, new data demonstrates that housing costs are pushing the cost of living in the Bay Area further out of reach for most working families.

The California Housing Partnership published its annual Housing Needs Assessment data today for seven Bay Area Counties, demonstrating a snapshot of the region’s current housing needs and challenges.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Across the seven Bay Area Counties, median rental prices are out of reach for most working people, as the median rental price in each county requires a wage of at least $36.06/hour – and up to $61.63/hour in Marin County.

  • Funding from the state and federal level has dropped in every county, with significant declines in most, including a 90% loss of state and federal funding in Solano County.

  • There is a current shortfall of 149,600 affordable homes spanning the seven counties.

  • The counties need more investments, not fewer, to make a difference for Bay Area families. When comparing the reports’ point in time data snapshots year over year since 2017 (where county report data is available), Alameda County and San Mateo County are the only two counties to reverse the trend of the growing affordable housing shortfall. This may in part be owing to the passage of their 2016 affordable housing revenue measures (Measure A1 and Measure K, respectively) generating new, local investments for affordable housing in the county.

“It’s clear that local affordable housing funding measures are working where they exist,” said Matt Schwartz, CEO and President of the California Housing Partnership. “What we need now is for the State to provide more local funding tools, such as replacing lost redevelopment funds and lowering the voter threshold so that local voters can more easily take action on the issues that are important to them.”

In collaboration with the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) and local advocacy organizations, the new reports also include policy recommendations to address the reports’ findings.

“To create strong, healthy communities for anyone, we need strong, healthy communities for everyone,” said Amie Fishman, NPH Executive Director. “And one of the important takeaways from these data reports is that the Bay Area’s housing crisis goes way beyond individuals’ personal circumstances. To make progress on housing affordability for our region, for our community members, and for all of our black, brown, and white neighbors, it’s time for big, bold solutions that address historic and current inequities and meet the needs of our region.”

Specifically, the reports’ policy recommendations include stronger investments from the state and local level, and support for the 3Ps framework of production, preservation, and tenant protections. The reports all call to lower the threshold for voter approval of local funding of affordable housing and infrastructure from 67% to 55% as was done for educational facilities in 2000. This could lead to more local and regional funding, as seen in Alameda County and San Mateo County in 2016.


For more about May Affordable Housing Month, visit 

View the Alameda County report
View the Contra Costa County report
View the Marin County report
View the Napa County report
View the San Mateo County report
View the Solano County report
View the Sonoma County report.

California Housing Partnership is California’s leading expert in Affordable Housing finance and policyThe State Legislature created the California Housing Partnership in 1988 to help preserve California’s existing supply of affordable homes and to provide leadership on affordable housing policy and resource issues. Since then, the California Housing Partnership has worked with fellow affordable housing creators and preservers statewide to ensure that low-income Californians have the opportunity to live in a home that fosters a healthy, productive life. In partnership with nonprofit and government housing agencies, the California Housing Partnership provides the expertise, technical assistance, and advocacy leadership necessary to create and preserve homes affordable to those with the fewest housing choices. For more information about California Housing Partnership and the data reports, visit 

The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) is the Bay Area’s voice for affordable housingNPH envisions a future where everyone has has an affordable and stable home. NPH represents more than 750 affordable housing developers, advocates, community leaders and businesses, working to secure resources, promote good policy, educate the public and support affordable homes as the foundation for thriving individuals, families and neighborhoods. For more information about NPH, visit