Childcare workers ($21,368/year)
Security guards ($22,736/year)
Retail salespersons ($25,756/year)
Office clerks ( $26,311/year)
Truck drivers ($35,937/year)
Social workers ($39,346/year)
Retail managers ($39,514/year)
Licensed vocational nurses ($41,111/year)
Computer support staff ($44,917/year)
Clergy ($52,237/year) Many working families live in overcrowded and unsafe buildings far from their work, which contributes to traffic congestion and neighborhood blight. There are roughly 48,000 homeless individuals in Los Angelesthe largest homeless population in America. And according to Bob Erlenbush of the LA Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness, about 250,000 people in LA County experience homelessness at some point in the year.
The city's and the region's housing crisis is exacerbated by widening inequality and growing poverty. Recent reports from groups as different as the United Way the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy , and the UCLA Economic Forcecast all agree that the widening economic divide, and growing poverty, is a serious problem in the LA area.
According to a new report by UCLA's Anderson Forecast , L.A. has higher levels of income inequality than has the rest of the nation. Meanwhile, the percentage of those earning middle class wages in L.A. ($50,000 to $75,000) has been steadily declining. According to the United Way's "Quality of Life in L.A." report, more than one-quarter of people in L.A. County live in poverty. According to LAANE, almost 4 million L.A. County residents about 40% of the populationqualify for anti-poverty assistance. Most of them are in working families.
Cities cannot solve the entire housing crisis on their own, but they have an important role to play. Cities are responsible for zoning and code enforcement. They can also generate local funds to supplement federal and state subsidies.
The Housing LA coalition believes, and I agree, that it's time for L.A.'s Mayor and City Council to approve a comprehensive plan that gives people from all walks of life more housing choices: the choice of a home that meets your budget, the choice to stay in your neighborhood, the choice to live near your work, the choice to get off the street. With the right leadership, we can build many more homes that people can afford, as well as protect the ones we have.