Study: 5 Percent Rent Hike In LA Would Send 2,000 More Into Homelessness

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – A 5 percent rent hike in the Los Angeles metro area would push nearly 2,000 more residents into homelessness, according to a new study on the effect of rising housing costs.

The study released this week by real estate firm Zillow looked at the relationship between rent prices and the homeless population in the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

The median rent in the L.A. metro area in June was $2,682, according to Zillow, a 4.2 percent increase from June of 2016. The study found that if rent jumps an average of 5 percent, 1,993 more people would be pushed into homelessness. If rent rises 10 percent, that number increases to 4,072. Zillow based its estimates on 2016 homeless numbers.

The L.A. Homeless Services Authority’s annual count in January found 57,794 homeless in the county. That was a 23 percent jump from the year prior. Zillow estimates the L.A. metro population at about 13.3 million.

“Part of the problem is that we’ve locked ourselves into singular kinds of solutions, and we’re not looking at what the broad-based problems are,” former LAHSA commissioner Mike Neely told Zillow.

Zillow said it applied its own rental rate data to the established formula reflecting the connection to come up with new estimates. Accurate homeless counts in L.A. are tougher, Zillow emphasized, because homeless people in L.A. tend sleep outside rather than in shelters, making their populations harder to estimate.

For contrast, a 5 percent increase in rent in San Francisco, which Zillow estimates had a homeless population of 8,762 people in 2016, would equate to a population increase of  just 68 people. San Diego, meanwhile, with an estimated homeless population of 11,149, would see an increase of 184.

New York City, which had an estimated 76,000 homeless people last year, would see that number go up by nearly 3,000.

For numbers for every metropolitan area, look at the table below. To read the full study, click here.

capture9 Study: 5 Percent Rent Hike In LA Would Send 2,000 More Into Homelessness

This table provided by Zillow is an estimate of how much homelessness would increase in major U.S. metropolitan areas if the average rent in those areas went up by an average of 5 percent. (Credit: Zillow)

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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