A Foundation for Equity

Evaluating A Regional Approach to the Los Angeles County Housing Crisis

Key Findings
  • 53% of women are rent burdened, compared to 47% of men
  • 1 in 3 Black women renters spend more than half their income on housing
  • 3 in 5 Latino-led households are rent burdened
  • 36% of elderly Latinas living alone have income below the federal poverty line, which is $12,880 for a single adult
  • Women-led households are 4 times as likely as households headed by a married couple to have extremely low income
  • 726,000 children live in households paying unaffordable rents
Los Angeles County Housing Crisis
August 2022

Los Angeles County faces an affordable housing crisis, one of the most acute in the state of California. Rising rents and home purchase prices, a countywide shortfall of new units to meet current and future demand, old housing stock, and a high proportion of low-wage working families in the metropolitan area have combined to leave too many of the County’s residents struggling to secure safe, quality housing. Compounding these trends, the Covid pandemic exacerbated socioeconomic disparities for groups with disproportionately high rates of low-income, especially women of color and single mothers.

SB-679, authored by Senator Sydney Kamlager, would create the Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA), a countywide multistakeholder agency whose purpose is to increase the supply of affordable housing and provide rental assistance throughout Los Angeles County.

The Gender Equity Policy Institute analyzed housing expenditures and income of Los Angeles County residents to assess the disparate gender and race/ethnicity impacts of the region wide housing affordability crisis. Our findings show that people of color and women, especially Black and Latina women, are more likely to be spending an unsustainable portion of their income on housing.

Understanding current racial and gender housing inequities in Los Angeles County, we hope, will assist LACAHSA in addressing Los Angeles County’s regionwide housing crisis in a way that contributes to eliminating existing inequalities, advancing gender and racial equity in housing, and promoting a healthy and sustainable future for all people in Los Angeles County.