STATUS: Hinders human development

How do we know how we’re doing?

1 vacancy rates, 2 median rent, 3 median sales price, and 4 housing affordability

Housing is at the “top of the hierarchy of human material needs . . . and is central to people’s ability to meet basic needs.”128 Inadequate housing can affect health status, disrupt social relations, and hamper an individual’s ability to participate in the larger society. Affordable housing is out of reach for too many families, and too many low- and middle-income households are spending too much for their homes.

The current state of Housing:

Los Angeles is considered the “homeless capital of the country.”126


There are an estimated 51,340 homeless persons countywide.127

For homeowners, nearly half (51.5%) spend 30% or more on housing, and one-fifth spend 50% or more.121

“As people are commuting farther to get affordable housing, we see it affecting all kinds of things – from the environment to having the time to socially connect, to parents having time to engage in their kids’ education.”

—Elise Buik, President & CEO, United Way of Greater Los Angeles


of the area’s working households spend more than 50% of their income on housing costs.122

Los Angeles has the second highest percentage of working households with a severe housing cost burden in the U.S.

76% of low-income owners and 93% of low-income renters spend 30% of their income or more on housing.123


Economists predict that a younger population will stimulate more demand for urban multifamily rental units and less demand for suburban single-family homes.

A significant number of Angelenos spend large sums of their income on expensive housing. This depletes financial resources that households need to afford other necessities. For some families, this erases the option of sending their child to a private school that may outperform the public school system. For others, it means curtailing their use of personal vehicles in a car-dominated region, potentially restricting mobility and access to jobs.

What does housing look like in the year 2050?

Housing in 2050 is also predicted to “significantly hinder human development.” This analysis is based on the substantial affordability gap that still confronts the region. Without a drastic increase in average household incomes and without significant growth in the number of housing units that are affordable to low- and middle-income earners, Los Angeles in 2050 will remain a place where housing isn’t available to young wager-earners, families, seniors and much of the middle class.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding housing? Share it with us in the comments or use the hashtag #LA2050.