About half of all Californians rent their home. The cause involves many factors, but a significant reason is that real estate is costly, particularly for those living in the Bay Area. There are other affordable housing initiatives, but the ongoing housing crisis has prompted the state to institute rent control laws, with AB-1482 being a recent example.
While there are exceptions, landlords can still raise the rent by 5% per year regardless of market demand. Landlords often decry this type of regulation, figuring the open market should dictate the price people pay for housing. However, the exceptionally high rents can turn formerly vibrant neighborhoods into something entirely different.
The cultural and social benefits
While many feel protective of their communities, homeowners are especially mindful of property values. Any change they perceive as affecting their property values is terrible, perhaps leading to a “not-in-my town” mindset. Examples would be new affordable house developments or even renting out property in traditionally owner-occupied areas. These and other kinds of affordable housing benefit entire communities. The reasons include:
- Good for kids: A recent study found that poor quality housing or housing instability influences a child’s development and behavior. Adequate room can mean enough space to do school work in a less distracting environment, which means they do better in school and work towards a better future.
- Sustainability: Unaffordability harms the health of a community. Affordable housing encourages social connection with neighbors, attracts businesses and restaurants, lowers crime rates, brings in more tax revenue, and offers other benefits.
- Diversity: Diverse communities encourage cultural and dialogue sensitivity and dispel cultural stereotypes.
Building a healthier community
Landlords, residents, developers, and government officials can all play a part in making affordable housing a reality. Those with questions about residential and landlord issues can speak with a lawyer who handles real estate matters and disputes. They can provide insight into making communities healthier for everyone.