Renters in Sacramento County have to earn more than twice the state’s minimum wage to afford the average two-bedroom apartment, according to a new report.
Last year, renters would have to make at least $31.25 per hour, up from nearly $27 per hour in 2020, according to the Sacramento County Housing Need Report 2022 published on Tuesday by the nonprofit California Housing Partnership.
At the same time, average rent rose from nearly $1,400 to $1,625. The report measured rent increases from 2020 to 2021.
Rising housing costs can strain budgets, lead to evictions and “make or break someone’s mental health,” said Erica Jaramillo, a volunteer with the Sacramento Tenants Union.
“We’re seeing a lot of people having to house their family members or friends for short periods of time or even long periods of time because they can’t find housing,” Jaramillo said.
She added that tenants who bring in family or friends could risk violating their own lease.
The report estimates Sacramento County has a shortfall of nearly 60,000 affordable homes for its lowest-income renters.
Sacramento County is one of 15 statewide where renters must earn at least twice the state or local minimum wage to afford average rent. In 10 counties, they must earn three times that amount or more, the housing partnership reported. In San Francisco, for example, renters had to make $68 per hour, more than four times minimum wage.
Average rents in neighboring Placer and Yolo counties are higher than Sacramento’s at $1,951 and $1,701 respectively. Meanwhile, the monthly cost in San Joaquin County is slightly less at $1,612.
The California Housing Partnership advocates for affordable housing and produces statewide data tools for housing research.
Here are other key findings from its report:
- In all 58 California counties, average asking rents rose between 2020 and 2021.
- In 33 counties, average asking rents increased by 5% or more.
- Although 24 counties saw increases in the number of affordable homes produced or preserved compared to 2020, overall in 2021 California only funded 16% of the new affordable homes the state needed.
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