Out of Reach Report 2021
The 2021 National Housing Wage* is $24.90 per hour for a modest two-bedroom rental home and $20.40 per hour for a modest one-bedroom rental home.
*Housing Wage is the estimated fulltime hourly wage workers must earn to afford a decent rental home at HUD’s Fair Market Rent while spending no more than 30% of their income on housing costs.
Rents are Out of Reach for Many Renters
The graph below shows the rental cost that various households can afford compared to the fair market rent of a modest one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment.
$39.03/hour to Afford Housing in CA
New research shows that full-time workers need to earn $39.03 per hour in order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent in California.
California accounted for 51% of
all unsheltered people in the United States
Source: Federal Statistics
Homelessness by Race in LA County
Structural racism causes black people to be proportionately 4x more likely to experience homelessness
Total Units in Development under
Homelessness by Gender in LA County
Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
Reports on Homelessness
1. Committee for Greater LA: No Going Back: Policies for an Equitable and Inclusive Los Angeles (2020)
2. United Way: Impact Report (2020)
3. Los Angeles County Homelessness and Housing Map (2020)
4. State of Crisis: Dismantling Student Homelessness in California (2020)
5. LAHSA Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count (2020)
6. LAHSA Covid-19 Recovery Plan Report (2020)
7. LAHSA on Black Homelessness in Los Angeles (2018)
8. LA County Public Health: Recent Trends in Mortality Rates and Causes of Death Among People Experiencing Homelessness in Los Angeles County (2021)
9. Homelessness Policy Research Institute: Latinx Homelessness in Los Angeles (2020)
10. Homelessness Policy Research Institute: American Indian and Alaska Native Homelessness (2021)
Key Terms Glossary
- Adequate housing – housing reported by residents as not needing any major repairs.
- Addictions programs – programs that consist of self-help, residential, or outpatient treatment facilities, harm reduction programs, or individual and group counselling designed to help those addicted to substances.
- Affordable Housing – Any type of housing, including rental or home ownership, permanent or temporary, for-profit or non-profit, housing that costs less than 30% of a household’s pre-tax income.
- At-Risk of Homelessness – people who are not currently experiencing homelessness, but whose current economic and/or housing situation is precarious, and could possibly lead to homelessness.
- Asset-based approaches – wide-range of projects and initiatives that promote savings and the acquisition of financial assets among people with low incomes.
- Best practice – an intervention, method or technique that has consistently been proven effective through scientific research.
- Child Poverty – the proportion of children 17 years and under living in a household where disposable income is less than half of the median.
- Chronic disease – a long-lasting medical condition that may not be able to be cured.
- Community services – any programs delivered through non-profit, community organizations, or government assistance to help people experiencing homelessness.
- Community based mental health care – a variety of services designed to meet local needs that are delivered primarily by community agencies and sometimes through health clinics or hospitals.
- Concurrent Disorders (Dual Diagnosis) – a condition in which a person has both a substance abuse problem and a mental health disorder.
- Discrimination – actions that negatively affect people of marginalized groups, based on prejudices and biases.
- Early intervention strategies – strategies designed to work quickly to support families and individuals to retain housing, or use rehousing strategies.
- Emergency response – providing emergency supports like shelter, food, or day programs when someone is experiencing homelessness.
- Emergency sheltered – people experiencing homelessness who are staying in overnight emergency shelters.
- Eviction prevention – refers to any program or strategy, usually geared at those renting properties that are designed to keep people in their home and off the street.
- Episodically Homeless – Refers to those who move in and out of homelessness
- Family and natural supports – family, friends and community that act as supports and reduce the probability that someone will become homeless.
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) – describes a range of disabilities which affect a child that result from a mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
- Hard skills – refers to the learning of skills, such as carpentry, computer repair, or restaurant work, that increase chances of employment.
- Harm Reduction – referrers to policies, programs and practices aimed at reducing the negative effects and risks associated with substance use and addictive behaviors for the individual, the community and society as a whole.
- Hidden homelessness – persons who live temporarily with others with no guarantee of continued housing or prospects for permanent housing.
- Homelessness – Homelessness describes the situation of an individual, family, or community without stable, safe, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means and ability of acquiring it. It is the result of systemic or societal barriers, a lack of affordable and appropriate housing, the individual/household’s financial, mental, cognitive, behavioural or physical challenges, and/or racism and discrimination.
- Housing accommodation and supports – refers to the provision of housing and ongoing supports as a means of moving people out of homelessness.
- Housing First – a recovery-oriented approach to ending homelessness that centers on moving people experiencing homelessness into permanent and independent housing. It is usually followed by additional supports and services.
- Housing exclusion – the failure of society to ensure that adequate systems, funding and support are in place so that all people, even in crisis situations, have access to housing.
- Housing policy – refers to the actions of government, including legislation and program delivery, which have a direct or indirect impact on housing supply and availability, housing standards and urban planning.
- Individual and relational factors – the personal circumstances of a homeless person which may include: traumatic events, personal crisis, mental health and addictions challenges. These can be both a cause and consequence of homelessness and physical health problems or disabilities. Relational problems can include family violence and abuse, addictions, mental health problems of other family members and extreme poverty.
- Infectious disease – illnesses caused by viruses or bacteria that are spread between people or from animals to people. Researchers on homelessness and infectious disease often focus on Hepatitis A, B and C, tuberculosis, HIV/ AIDS and a range of sexually transmitted infections.
- Informal Economy – economic activities that fall outside the formal labor market. Accounts for goods and services that are not accounted for in formal measurements of the economy.
- Life skills – these are the skills that are essential for living independently and includes skills such as managing money, shopping, cooking, etc.
- NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) – describes when residents of a neighbourhood designate a new development (e.g. shelter, affordable housing, group home) or change in occupancy of an existing development as inappropriate or unwanted for their local area.
- Street outreach – work that involves engaging with people experiencing homelessness who might be disconnected and alienated not only from mainstream services and supports, but from the services targeting homeless persons as well.
- Outreach programs – services and programs involved in bringing services directly to where homeless people are rather than requiring someone to go into a facility.
- Palliative care – services provided to those in the end stages of their life either from old age or serious illness.
- Pandemic – a sudden and in most cases severe outbreak of a disease or virus that spreads across regions and around the world.
- Pandemic planning – a form of disaster management, pandemic planning is an attempt to prepare and coordinate systems, resources and communications in an effort to ameliorate the impact of the spread of virulent disease.
- Panhandling – a subsistence strategy that refers to begging for money, food and other items. The activity is considered to be part of the informal economy and is commonly associated with homelessness.
- Permanent supportive/Supported housing – combines rental or housing assistance with individualized flexible and voluntary support services for people with high needs. It is an option to house chronically homeless individuals with high acuity.
- Point-in-Time (PiT) counts – provide a “snapshot” of the number of people experiencing homelessness on a specific date (usually one day but occasionally up to a week) in a community.
- Prevention – refers to one of the main strategies in addressing homelessness that aims to stop people from becoming homeless in the first place.
- Primary prevention – refers to working upstream to reduce risks of homelessness for individuals and families. Typically involves universal interventions directed at whole communities.
- Promising practice – an intervention for which there is sufficient evidence to claim that the practice is proven effective at achieving a specific aim or outcome, but is not yet strongly documented enough to become a best practice.
- Provisionally accommodated – referring to those whose accommodation is temporary or lacks security of tenure.
- Racialized Communities (Visible Minority) – encompasses all people that are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.
- Racism – a form of prejudice and discrimination directed towards someone based on one’s race, which produces systemic and societal barriers.
- Scattered site housing – housing that is provided at individual locations, usually in the private rental market, as opposed to an affordable housing building or project.
- Self-care – the process of maintaining and promoting one’s health, wellbeing and development to meet the everyday challenges and stressors.
- Service coordination – describes inter- or intra-organizational efforts to support individuals across a range of services.
- Severe housing needs – when a household spends more than 50% of its pre-tax income on housing costs.
- Severe mental illness – defined as a serious and persistent mental or emotional disorder (e.g. schizophrenia, mood-disorders, schizo-affective disorders) that interrupts people’s abilities to carry out a range of daily life activities such as self-care, interpersonal relationships, maintaining housing, or employment.
- Shelter inventories – counts the number of beds available in a shelter system (which may or may not include Violence Against Women shelters) and determines what percentage of these beds are occupied on a given night.
- Shelter workers (Residential Counsellor) – refers to individuals working in a shelter who provide support to the residents to help maintain order in the shelter and to help the residents achieve success in transitioning to housing.
- Social housing – any housing that is funded/subsidized by a level of government.
- Soft skills – Skills that help someone obtain and maintain employment, including resume preparation, job search, as well as “life skills” training including shopping, cooking and managing money.
- Structural factors – Economic and societal pressures weighing on opportunities and social environments for individuals.
- Substance use – All types of drug and alcohol use.
- Substance use prevention – Seeking to delay the onset of substance use through interventions, or avoiding substance use problems before they occur.
- Suitable housing – housing with an adequate number of bedrooms for the size and composition of the resident household.
- Support workers (SW) – are generally assigned individual clients to monitor and conduct case management with in order to place clients into housing.
- Transitional housing – A temporary supportive accommodation intended to ease the transition from homelessness to permanent housing by offering living structure, supervision, support, life skills, and education.
- Trauma – a markedly distressing event that causes victimization.
- Transitionally Homeless – Short-term homelessness which usually lasts less than a month.
- Unsheltered – living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation.
- Vertical integration – An approach to centralized planning, management, and service delivery within a single organizational context.
- Youth homelessness – refers to young people, generally between age 13 and 24, who are independent from parents or caregivers, and who lack the social support considered necessary to transition from childhood to adulthood.