New report: High rents make housing difficult to afford in SoCal

New report: High rents make housing unaffordable in SoCal

COACHELLA, Calif. - Guadalupe Garcia lives in a modest two-bedroom apartment in Coachella with her 18-year-old son. She makes just $11.50 an hour as a caregiver, and must borrow money each month to make rent.

"I don't know how to do it, but I manage to do it. I go to get a loan and when I get paid I go take it back and pay it. And I do that all the time, every month just to make it," Garcia said.
Her son is a full-time student and washes cars on the side to help his mom make ends meet.
"Everybody has to be working and put together just to maintain," Garcia said.

According to a new report by the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, about 60 percent of renters in Riverside County and San Bernardino don't earn enough to afford a two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent, which in California is $1300 a month.

While minimum wage is just $8 an hour, a renter would have to make more than $21 an hour to afford that.

Garcia's rent accounts for more than half of her income, and then come other expenses.

"I need to pay light, gas. We don't have cable because we can't afford cable," Garcia said.

Many valley cities offer affordable housing programs. But Garcia says the solution lies in the hands of employers.

"I think they need to pay us more. I dont' think I'm the only one struggling, I think there's a lot of people struggling out there."
In Coachella, more than a quarter of families live below poverty level. Still garcia refuses to allow her financial situation to hold her back.

"Don't give up, just keep going and try to find ways," she said.

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