Lower-Income Residents Are Leaving L.A. Because Rent's Just Too High

Lower-Income Residents Are Leaving L.A. Because Rent's Just Too High
File photo by Joe Wolf/Flickr

With the L.A. vacancy rate about 4 percent or lower, local rent so high that one out of three tenants pay half their income to live indoors, and housing prices requiring six-figure salaries, the pressure is on.

Something has to give.

That something is people. A new report from real estate listings site Trulia titled "Priced Out: Big Cities Are Becoming Too Costly for Lower-Income Residents" says lower-income Angelenos are leaving town because they just can't afford it anymore.

Los Angeles is one of several American metro areas, including Orange County, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and San Jose, where rising housing costs are pushing out those in households with less than $30,000 per year in income.

That kind of money is near poverty depending on the size of your family.

"In these cities, rents paid by tenants on average have increased 13 percent," Trulia said in a statement. "These lower-income residents have opted to move to less expensive areas of the country. In some cases, even those able to afford these expensive cities are leaving too."

Angelenos with household incomes of $30,000 or less are moving out at a rate 18.6 percent greater than what would be expected with higher incomes and neutral economic conditions, Trulia indicated.

About one in five (21.5 percent) of L.A. households fall into that income category, by the way, the site says.

Los Angeles isn't the worst city when it comes to lower-income people moving out, however. That title belongs to San Jose. The Silicon Valley city was followed by Silver Spring, Maryland, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Oakland when it comes to lower-income folks moving out.

Nationwide, "Lower-paying occupations ... had higher move-away rates," Trulia said.

Hold fast. Or, like many Angelenos, find a cheaper place to live.

Professions, trades and jobs affected nationally by housing costs.
Professions, trades and jobs affected nationally by housing costs.

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