Across the housing issue area, we see that Black, Latinx, and Pacific Islander Californians generally endure more significant disparities than other racial groups. They are less likely to own a home and more likely to face challenges paying for rent or experience homelessness.
California is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis where a profound shortage leaves far too many low-income communities of color without residential stability and all too often houseless. For most families, their house is their most significant asset, providing stability and a means for building wealth. The exclusionary discrimination practices in the housing market have generated a volatile cycle for people of color, leaving them with lower homeownership rates, higher-priced loans, and living in segregated neighborhoods with less access to public resources.
Confronting the housing crisis is a significant priority for Californians. In addition to being inhumane, it has the long-term ripple effect of added societal costs—in the form of more emergency medicine, perceptions of public safety, behavioral health, and social services—that negatively impact our collective welfare. As both pandemic-related relief funding and housing protections are exhausted, addressing California’s housing crises will continue to become a more pressing issue for our communities and policymakers. Policymakers must create more permanent supportive housing, affordable housing, and rezone areas to add more multifamily homes. Advocates across the state are organizing various municipal campaigns focused on increasing affordable and quality housing opportunities and protecting and acknowledging tenant rights. These organizers are working to win tenant protections and promote the creation of new, genuinely affordable housing for people of color. These efforts include statewide campaigns to enshrine protections for tenants and limit speculation in residential property. Furthermore, long-term local efforts involve building power among people of color to fight displacement.
The inability of regional governments to provide solutions for affordable housing has resulted in greater income inequality and decreased social mobility.