Study: California Homeless Crisis Due To Outrageous Rent Costs

A startling new study from the University of California revealed that almost half of the state’s homeless population is over 50. This age group largely lost their homes due to being unable to keep up with skyrocketing bills.

The study, published on Tuesday, showed that 47% of single adults currently homeless in California are past the age of 50.

It further said that Blacks and Native Americans are disproportionately represented in the demographic.

The most expansive research on California homelessness in 30 years revealed that participants survived on a family income averaging $960 monthly within six months of being without a place to live. Many said rent subsidies would have alleviated the issue and kept them housed.

The Golden State is buckling under the weight of its homeless population. Researchers report the state has roughly 171,000 homeless persons, which is a full 30% of the entire national total.

That’s despite having only 12% of the U.S. population within its borders.

Housing costs were a recurring theme in the study. Real estate company Zillow reported that California had the nation’s highest median rent costs at $2,542 monthly.

The most frequently given economic reason for homelessness was loss of income. The report noted that many live on the margins with high housing costs coupled with low incomes and little savings.

Of the over 3,200 people who participated in the survey, 22% reported lost or reduced income as the reason for leaving their last stable housing. Another 10% gave non-housing costs, particularly healthcare or food, as the reason for being unable to afford rent.

An increase in rent was cited by 8% of respondents.

Job losses due to injuries, illnesses, or the need to provide care for family members were also reported. Some told researchers they lost their jobs after contracting COVID-19 and not being allowed to miss work or isolate themselves.

Substance abuse caused 13% to leave their last shelter, and another 11% said someone near to them becoming sick, disabled, or dying forced them into homelessness. Nine percent reported that it was their own sickness or disability that forced them out of being sheltered.

Still others blamed discrimination in the job market due to disability, race, language, or immigration status.