It’s no secret that California has an incredibly high cost of living. However, bay area rent is among the highest in the country and is forcing some residents to drastic, alternative housing solutions.
Recreational vehicles aren’t meant to be a permanent home, but for some residents it’s the only home they can afford. A recent expose in a the East Bay Times explored this growing trend.
Alameda County, which includes Oakland and a large portion of the bay area, has seen a 40% increase in homeless population since 2015. Santa Clara County, which includes San Jose, saw a 13% increase.
RV residents don’t often consider themselves homeless. However, they are frequently counted in homeless statistics due to the lack of “permanent housing.”
Increasing Bay Area Rent To Blame?
San Francisco’s bay area is known to be a high-rent region. However, median incomes are also among the highest in the nation. Still, a 2-bedroom apartment in San Jose is still averaging $2500 per month. In Oakland, the average of $2200 per month is not much better.
“Rent is too expensive. They look at living in an RV as a viable option.” – Alicia Garcia, Associate Director of WeHOPE which serves homeless residents in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
Residents and local government have generally taken a relaxed, compassionate stance towards the burgeoning RV communities. However, noise, sanitation, and parking complaints have increased dramatically in recent years.
All signs point to the growing concern regarding the disparity between income and housing costs. This widening gap is forcing people into alternative living situations.
If these trends continue, some high-price states may soon see residents fleeing for more cost-effective housing solutions. Millennials in particular are ditching big cities in favor of more price-friendly mid-west and rural areas.
It’s no secret that cost of living varies widely around the country. But where to go? And where to get the most bang for your buck? That’s where City vs City can help. Our powerful cost of living calculator shows you the true cost your lifestyle has in your city an elsewhere.
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