I Live in My Car
Dozens of parking lots have opened across the country for working people who can afford a car but not rent.
Around the country, real estate is being set aside for people like Ms. Audet in the form of parking lots. Dozens of such lots have opened in the last five years, with new ones being announced every few months, including as far east as Pennsylvania and North Carolina. They are sprinkled across the Midwest in Green Bay, Wis., and Duluth, Minn. And they dot the spine of the Pacific Northwest, providing a safe harbor for a growing cohort of working Americans who are wedged in the unforgiving middle. They earn too little to afford rent but too much to receive government assistance and have turned their cars into a form of affordable housing.
The Lake Washington United Methodist Church began experimenting with offering a beachhead for the “mobile homeless” in 2011 in response to Seattle’s “scofflaw ordinance,” which called for the impounding of cars that had accrued multiple parking tickets, a law that was disastrous for people forced to live in their cars. “Our simple idea was, ‘Hey, if they’re in our parking lot, they won’t get parking tickets. And they won’t get booted and towed,’” said Karina O’Malley, who helped create the program.
Now it is one of 12 in Washington State.
“Tens of thousands of people are living in their vehicles,” said Graham J. Pruss, an applied anthropologist studying the trend, who heads the National Vehicle Residency Collective. “It’s huge.”
We need housing in Denver. We don’t need golf courses.
Advocates say Phoenix’s streets are increasingly filled with people who simply could not afford an increasingly pricey Arizona: Average rent in the Phoenix area has risen by about 70 percent over the past five years, and the number of people in shelters or living on the street has gone up by 60 percent.
“The cost of housing is the biggest thing we see,” said Kenn Weise, the mayor of the suburban city Avondale, Ariz., and chairman of the Maricopa Association of Governments, which runs the Point-in-Time Count.
The path that brought Mr. Greene to a park in downtown Phoenix, repairing a beater bicycle, began, he said, when he fell from a scaffold at his carpentry job a few years ago. Work was impossible after he crushed his leg, but he said he survived on monthly disability checks.
The rent on his apartment near the palms of Encanto Park crept up from $525 to $700 before doubling in December, part of the disappearance of modestly priced rentals around Phoenix. A decade ago, almost 90 percent of apartments around Phoenix rented for $1,000 or less. Now, just 10 percent do.
582,462 and Counting
To fix a problem like homelessness in America, you need to know its scope. To do that, you need sheriffs, social workers, volunteers, flashlights and 10 days in January.
The project in question is for the Noe Valley neighborhood, which wants a public toilet for its Town Square. The problem is the price tag: $1.7 million.
State funds will not be forthcoming for the project, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office told the San Francisco Chronicle this week amid mounting controversy. Republicans have hammered Newsom, a Democrat, over the state’s homelessness problem, with San Francisco a prime example.
“A single, small bathroom should not cost $1.7 million,” Erin Mellon, the governor’s communications director, wrote in a statement. “The state will hold funding until San Francisco delivers a plan to use this public money more efficiently. If they cannot, we will go back to the legislature to revoke this appropriation.”
A public toilet ‘should not cost $1.7 million.’ Why California’s governor is wading into a San Francisco neighborhood’s ‘inexplicable’ plan
Six years later, neither the mandate nor the money has proved to be nearly enough. In 2016, Los Angeles had about 28,000 homeless residents, of whom around 21,000 were unsheltered (that is, living on the street). The current count is closer to 42,000 homeless residents, with 28,000 unsheltered. Prop HHH has built units, but slowly, and at eye-popping cost. The city says that 3,357 units have been built, and the most recent audit found the average cost was $596,846 for units under construction — more than the median sale price for a home in Denver. Some units under construction have cost more than $700,000 to build.
The Way Los Angeles Is Trying to Solve Homelessness Is ‘Absolutely Insane’
Talk to anybody looking to buy a place to live in Denver and they’ll tell you about their struggles. Properties are too expensive for most mortals to afford, bidding wars have been raging, and even though there are slight signs the market is cooling down, prices are still higher than ever.
In fact, Denver just ranked as the fifth least affordable real estate market in the United States. That’s according to an April report from Ojo Labs, an Austin-based real estate company.
In March, the median selling price for a home in Denver was $564,990 (compare that $520,000 in the New York City area). That was 23.2% higher than the previous year, according to the report.
The least affordable city was San Francisco, where the median home price was $1.3 million.
Only four U.S. cities were less affordable than Denver in March
Other than San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Miami, pretty much everywhere else is cheaper to live.
Housing prices for renters and owners are sky high, while homes are in short supply. According to the latest Census, over 115,000 newcomers moved to Denver over the past decade and more are coming every day, putting even more stress on the housing market
Where should all these people live?
The need for new housing for people making less than the area median income — which is $94,320 for a three-person family and $73,360 for a single person — is extreme. In Denver, the median home price was around $545,000 in December, and median rent is currently $1,798, according to Apartment List’s February rent report.
Denver must build more than 50,000 affordable homes a year to meet demand. The city’s largest affordable housing developer can build around 300.
The city’s largest affordable housing developer can’t keep up with the need.
Build up or pay up.
That is the message Massachusetts is sending to 175 cities and suburbs in the Boston area, as a bill passed last year to boost housing production begins to take effect. Almost every jurisdiction in eastern Massachusetts, from the New Hampshire border to Worcester to the Cape Cod Canal, will have to do its part zoning for 344,000 new units of as-of-right multifamily housing—or lose access to some state grant programs. That means allowing apartments in many tony subdivisions currently reserved for single-family homes.
For perspective, all of Massachusetts currently builds just 15,000 new units a year—a huge drop-off from the 20th century and one reason that the Boston area has some of the highest rents and home prices in the country. “Massachusetts is the first state to actually get a policy like this,” said Jessie Grogan at the Cambridge-based Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. “Are the incentives strong enough? Probably not. But it will have some impact, and more than the other housing tools we’ve tried.”
Can You Force the Suburbs to Build Apartments? Massachusetts Is Trying.
Even if some towns “have to go kicking and screaming.”
BY HENRY GRABAR
The estimated population of Massachusetts is 6,984,723
I was living with roommates when I was making 40k a year.
Notice, too, “roommates” and not “a roommate.” The housing situation out here is bonkers.
Fiancé and I both work full time and we have a studio apt, no kids
… I make decent money but a house still seems like a dream. Maybe one day
… I make good money and a house in this state just is not happening. Remote life is about to be for real…plan to move to a place that hasn’t gone insane.
i make 50k. union job. on a good year maybe 55k with overtime and differential. have my own place. no debt, no kids. i’m struggling tbh.
Roommates. 3 bd 2 bt house in the Westminster area. $2200 a month. It goes up in February though
If you’d like to see similar discussion pertaining to any particular city, google something like this:
reddit afford living San Francisco
1 How do you guys afford to live here? : San Francisco … – Reddit
2 If “nobody” can afford to live in SF – who exactly inhabits all …
3 Is this enough money to live and save in San Francisco – Reddit
4 What do a lot of people in San Francisco do for a living to …
5 How can people afford living alone in SF? : r/AskSF – Reddit
6 I can’t afford to live in SF. : r/sanfrancisco – Reddit
7 How do people afford to buy in the Bay Area without rich …
8 How Do People Afford to Live in the Bay Area? We Asked …
9 Can someone from SF explain to me how people afford to live …
As documented by the January 2022 market-trends report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, the red-hot real estate scene in Denver has defied expectations, with the average price for a detached home in greater Denver rising above $700,000, a mark associated with the eye-popping peaks registered during the spring and early summer.
Denver Home Price Average Over $700,000 — Again
As Nicole Friedman explains in The Wall Street Journal, the housing crisis can be understood as a 20-year-old supply-and-demand problem:
Between 1968 and 2000, the United States built an average of about 1.5 million new housing units every year. But in the past two decades, in part because of a slowdown during the Great Recession, the country has added only 1.225 million new housing units every year.
Today, the country is 6.8 million units short of what was needed to meet new housing needs and to replace units that were aging or destroyed by natural disasters.
The upshot: Between 2001 and 2019, median rents rose faster than median renter incomes in nearly every state, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In only 7 percent of counties can a minimum-wage worker afford a one-bedroom rental.
America’s Housing Crisis Is a Choice
Blake Kittridge has lived in Denver for 4 years. He moved into the Infinity LoHi building in the middle of the pandemic. He likes living there but recently, they told him they are raising his rent by more than $800 a month.
“I know that this is more of like a price-gouging thing,” he says. “The entire reason they are raising my rent like they are is because they believe they can get that on the market so they can push me out.”
He rents a one-bedroom apartment for $1,650 per month. His landlords just told him rent for next year is going up to $2,490 per month.
Ron Throupe, an associate professor of real estate at the University of Denver. He just completed a second-quarter study about the rental market in Denver. He says rent is up on average by $107 for the quarter.
“That’s the largest rent increase quarterly we’ve ever seen in this survey,” Throupe says.
For almost a year, a federal moratorium on evictions allowed tenants who suffered economic losses from the coronavirus pandemic to stay in their homes.
Now, the moratorium’s scheduled expiration at midnight on Saturday has left renters around the country packing their belongings and facing an uncertain future as they search for housing options. Already, homeless shelters have been adding beds in preparation for an influx of people in need of a safe place to live.
The Census Bureau’s most recent Household Pulse Survey, which captures the impacts of the pandemic, found that 3.6 million people thought it was somewhat or very likely they would be evicted within the next two months.
For Tenants Nationwide, a Scramble to Pay Months of Rent or Face Eviction
A federal eviction moratorium is scheduled to end on Saturday. Many tenants are packing up and facing an uncertain future.