CNC staff, volunteers, and community partners are organizing in the San Joaquin Valley, Coachella Valley, and Sierras to ensure housing is a fundamental right for all families.
The housing crisis in California is unacceptable and continuing to worsen. Today, California is home to some of the nation’s most expensive neighborhoods to rent – including those in Riverside, Merced, and Fresno, where the median rent is $1,859, $1,507, and $1,364, respectively. Overall, California has the second highest median rent in the country, with rents topping $2,201, and features some of the nation’s highest home prices, with single-family homes carrying a median price of nearly $900,000. Put simply, housing in California is unaffordable.
Part of the story behind this reality is that the state is currently facing a massive housing shortage – estimated to be at least 2.5 million homes. Another part is that the cost of housing in the state has climbed tremendously over the past several decades, thanks in part to exclusionary zoning that prohibits multi-family homes from being built in some of our communities, and speculative real estate investors that exploit renters. Today, the rapid rise in housing costs has meant that a minimum wage worker in the state earning $15 an hour would need to work 83 hours a week just to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment. That’s unacceptable.
The housing crisis in California is also leading to an increase in the number of unhoused residents throughout the state. Overall, over 160,000 people are unhoused on any given day in the state. California’s unhoused residents are disproportionately Black and Brown, and a majority are unsheltered – living outside and sleeping in tents, parks, or even their cars.