According to the federal government, affordable housing is high quality housing that costs no more that 30% of an individual’s income. This percentage recognizes that-with housing costs at or below 30%-a person will be able to afford basic living expenses like food, clothing, and medical care. Housing can be ‘naturally’ affordable (i.e. affordable at prices naturally exhibited in the market) or affordable by regulation (i.e. regulatory agreements that limit rent).
Housing Long Beach has focused its advocacy efforts on working with the city to identify local sources of revenue and create policies to build private, affordable housing developments. Housing Long Beach is currently working with Mayor Robert Garcia’s Study Group on affordable housing to identify priorities and an agenda to increase development in Long Beach
What is Long Beach’s need for affordable housing?
- More than half of Long Beach renters have spend more than 35% of their income on rent
- More than one-third of Long Beach renters spend more than 50% of their income on rent.
- Between 2009-2013, the cities goal for affordable housing development was 5,440, but they only built 383 units during this time.
- The City of Long Beach is only meeting 7% its low-income housing needs.
- The current median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the city’s downtown, 90802 zip code, is $1,513 per month (Rent Calculator, 2012)—requiring an individual to earn $60,520 a year ($29.09/hour) to afford housing at 30% of their income.
- In North Long Beach (90805) medium rent dropped to $1,200 per month, still requiring annual wages to equal $48,000 a year (23.07/hour)
- 20,000 Long Beach families are living in severely overcrowded units.
Here are some examples of private affordable housing developments in Long Beach.
Puerto Del Sol
745 W. 3rd St.
1905 Pine Ave.
Villages at Cabrillo
2001 River Ave.
Long Beach Senior
200 E. Anaheim St.
2640 E. Anaheim St.
What are other housing options for low-income people?
Section 8 Housing
Section 8 is a federally funded housing program, in which vouchers are provided to tenants and they are able to choose where they want to live in the community. Vouchers must be accepted by local landlords. Tenants are required to pay 30% of their income on rent, and the Section 8 voucher – overseen by a Housing Authority – pays the difference between the Fair Market Rent (FMR) and what the tenant pays. (Homebase for Housing, n.d.)
There are approximately 7,000 vouchers in Long Beach managed by our Housing Authority. The wait-list for Section 8 vouchers is currently closed.
Public housing is housing that is subsidized and owned by a government authority in order to keep rent low. Residents qualify for public housing based on their income level.