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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: High rents drive up homelessness. California simply needs more housing

For rent sign
A rental sign is posted outside an apartment building in Sacramento in 2018.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: One letter writer had some strong words in response to Nita Lelyveld’s column on homelessness in Los Angeles. “The ‘why,’” she writes, “is in fact the single most important thing to know if there are to be solutions to [this] problem.”

Well, let’s talk about the why.

A 2018 study by Zillow quantified the link between rising housing prices and homelessness: When people spend more than 22% of their income on rent, the community is likely to experience a rise in homelessness. A more rapid increase in homelessness can happen when the portion spent on rent hits 32%.

We can, and should, talk about other issues like mental and physical health, but the permanent solution on homelessness is to address our state’s housing shortage.

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Jake Gotta, San Diego


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