Progress and updates on affordable housing as we head into summer (NPH E-News)
June 12, 2019
Mercury News: These Are the Most Expensive Counties in the U.S. to Rent in. Hint: They’re All in the Bay Area
June 18, 2019

New Report Shows Affordable Housing Is Out of Reach in California For Low-Wage Workers

(June 18) California counties account for 9 of the top 10 most expensive places to live in the nation, according to a new national report released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Bay Area counties in particular are heavily represented, seizing 5 of the 6 most expensive places on the list.

Bay Area Counties of Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo are in a three-way tie at the top of the list, where workers and families need an hourly wage of $60.96 to afford a two-bedroom rental at fair market rent. For the remaining six California counties in the list — Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Diego, and Orange – workers need an hourly wage between $39.17 – $54.60.

“California has been the best at being the worst for far too long,” said Amie Fishman, Non-Profit Housing Association of California Executive Director. “Our state, which is the world’s fifth largest economy, has the ability and capacity to ensure that every Californian has an affordable, safe place to call home. It’s time for us to do better.”

Even with increases in California’s minimum wage over the past several years, the high cost of rental housing far outpaces the earnings of our state’s low wage earners. What’s more, the average wage of a California renter is $22.79 per hour, while the average hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment in the state is $34.69. This means that California’s minimum wage earners ($12.00 per hour) must work 116 hours per week — nearly the equivalent of 3 full-time jobs — to afford rent.

“Affordable housing is the key to California’s future because wages have not kept up with skyrocketing housing costs,” said Lisa Hershey, Executive Director of Housing California. “Too many Californians are struggling to get by and experiencing homelessness as a result. What’s needed is bold, decisive proposals from Sacramento that will address the issue directly by assisting state residents without a home. Californians deserve better and cannot afford to wait.”

“The report’s findings highlight the intensity of the housing crisis on our workers and families in the Bay Area and around California,” said Fishman. “Our urgency to respond must match the intensity of the problem. We need big, bold solutions that encompass all three elements of production, preservation, and protections.”

Over the last several years, the Bay Area and California have demonstrated its commitment to housing solutions, including 2018’s statewide Prop 1 and Prop 2 as well as a number of local Bay Area measures in 2016 and 2018. The affordable housing movement has been building on this momentum with an expanded coalition dedicated to the comprehensive 3Ps of production, preservation, and protections approach and framework.

NPH co-sponsored and priority bills that embrace this framework are currently making their way through the California Legislature, including proposals to increase funding for more affordable homes in the Bay Area (AB 1487), expand and increase the value for the state’s low income housing tax credit program (AB 10 and SB 9), and make available unused public land for affordable housing development (AB 1486).

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A copy of the Out of Reach 2019 report is available at:

For additional information about the report, visit:

For additional information about NPH Priority Bills for the Bay Area and state of California, visit:


Alina Harway  415.989.8160 x36

Renee Willis  202-662-1530 x247