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California Budget & Policy Center Report Highlights Racial Inequity in Housing
By Brian W. Carter Contributing Writer
Published January 28, 2021

Children and Californians of color are at high risk of housing instability and homelessness.

(Courtesy Photo)

“The governor’s proposed budget estimates the jobs our state has lost may not come back until 2025 at the earliest. Meanwhile, rent will still be due each month,” stated Sara Kimberlin, senior policy analyst with the Budget Center and a report author.

“We know too that Black and Latinx workers and their children are struggling the most to pay for housing and food because of lost income related to COVID-19. This all underscores why urgent and ongoing support for renters is very much tied to the state’s recovery.”

The California Budget & Policy Center’s latest report shows economic racial inequity in housing among renters before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the 17 million, which includes children, families and individuals, housing instability and homelessness are immediate threats. The reports show the necessity that Governor Newsom’s proposed 2021-22 budget should include extending the state eviction moratorium beyond the expiration date of January 31.

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Here are some of the findings from the report:

-Almost 800,000 California children ages 0 to 5 (30%) of all young children in the state live in renter households, paying more than 30% of income toward housing.

-About half of Black children ages 0 to 5 live in renter households with unaffordable housing costs, as well as more than one-third of young Latinx children, compared to 17% of young White children.

-majority of the lowest-income renter households — 6 in 10 — had severe housing cost burdens, paying more than half of their income toward housing before COVID-19.

-Approximately 3 in 5 Black Californians and over half of Pacific Islander (54%) and Latinx Californians (53%) live in renter households.

-Nearly 6 in 10 Black individuals in renter households (58%) and more than half of Latinx renters (52%) were housing cost-burdened — compared to 44% of white renters and 42% of Asian renters before COVID-19.

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“Families are blocked from help because of nativist and anti-immigrant policies set up to inhumanely exclude and degrade all those who are foreign born, neglecting them support even during a global health crisis,” stated Aureo Mesquita, research associate with the Budget Center and a report author.

“Proposals like the Golden State Stimulus are a start. Now it’s time for policymakers to consider what level of support Californians of different races and from different places, native or newcomer, truly need to live and thrive in our communities.”

The COVID-19 relief bill, which passed in December, provided $2.6 billion in assistance to rent and utilities for low-income renters in California. The report shows that more assistance will be needed in the coming months and possibly years. Undocumented and mixed-status residents on the other hand are not receiving federal support.  The proposed Golden State Stimulus plan would provide financial support to those who fall in those categories. It’s been urged for policymakers to take action in supporting California’s undocumented residents and their families so they can pay rent, food, or other basic needs as the pandemic continues.

“Exclusionary and racist employment and housing policies have blocked generations of Californians of color and those in low-income households from educational opportunities and higher-paying jobs that enable families to build the financial assets needed to have stable, affordable housing,” stated Monica Davalos, research associate with the Budget Center and a report author. “Policymakers must recognize the severe situation our communities and state are in with millions of Californians strained to pay for housing.”

For more information and the full report, please visit https://calbudgetcenter.org

Categories: Local | News | News (Family) | Political | Real Estate
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