Newly Released Census Data: Most Californians Are Renters and Are Not Doing Well 

Joe Bowers, Tanu Henry, Edward Henderson and Antonio Ray Harvey | California Black Media 

Last week, a new report based on census data was released showing the impact of California’s high cost of living on people who earn the lowest incomes in the state. 

      According to census data, 45.5% of homes in California are occupied by renters, second only to New York at 49.7%. Nationwide, the rate of renter-occupied housing units is 36.9%, the highest it’s been since 1970.

      United Ways of California uses data such as the costs of food, health care, childcare, transportation and other basic needs to compile its “Real Cost Measures of Living in California” report. 

      According to the study, African American and Latino household seem to be struggling the most. 51% of Latino households fall below the Real Cost Measure compared to 45% of African American households, 30% of Asian American households, and 23% of White households. 

Factors contributing to California’s high renting percentage are housing prices and having a larger immigrant community that the rest of the United States. 

      Last week, some California lawmakers held a rally to raise awareness about a proposed amendment, authored by Assemblymembers Isaac Bryan (D-Los Angeles) and Ash Kalra (D- San Jose), that would make adequate housing a constitutional right.

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