Affordable housing is now recognized as a national goal. Federal and state programs have been established to achieve this goal, some directed at subsidizing the household, others to encourage the construction of housing dedicated to reduced-cost rental units.
Affordable housing is no longer stigmatized by being restricted to government owned public housing projects that can tend to concentrate a bad social situation. Rather, affordable housing units are located in the same apartment communities where large portions of the tenants are paying market rent. Thus, the same quality of housing is available to all tenants regardless of the ability to pay. This helping-hand approach is seen to be more equitable because it addresses the needs of the individuals who simply can't afford the cost of adequate housing in high priced areas.
It is estimated that in California, and in Orange County, at least 44% of working families are unable to afford fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit. In Los Angeles, 46% cannot afford fair market rent on a two-bedroom unit. In California, and in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, fully 58% of renters are unable to afford a three-bedroom unit at fair market rent.
In the state of California, there is an increased recognition of the growing housing affordability crisis. Numerous parties, both public and private, are directing greater time, and resources to addressing the problem. No single approach will work in all geographic areas. New initiatives, including public and private partnering, will be required to address this problem.
With the 2012 state-wide defunding and closure of municipal redevelopment agencies, new initiatives, including public and private partnering, will be required to address this problem.