tract housing
January 31, 2023

UCR report explores consequences of high cost housing in the Inland Empire

More than 40% spend a third or more of income on housing

Author: UCR News
January 31, 2023

A report released by the University of California, Riverside, probes Inland Southern California's high rates for cost-burdened households and details the consequences. 

Entitled “Housing and Sustainability in the Inland Region: Affordability, Equity, and Changing Demographics,” the report cites research that found 41.5% of the households in the region are cost-burdened, in which residents spend nearly a third or more of their incomes on housing. 

Like much of California, housing construction lags far behind population growth, making the Inland region the third-most overcrowded region in the United States, the report says.

It is the second major report to be released by UCR’s Inland Center for Sustainable Development focused on housing in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the growing area just east of Los Angeles County. It challenges readers to think about an adequate housing supply as a necessary component of community sustainability. 

The report discusses many of the region’s issues that have resulted from an insufficient housing stock, including increased inequality, lack of opportunity, high-cost burdens, low homeownership rates, homelessness, and discrimination. 

“Many of these housing issues are inherently interrelated, and this report stresses that the impacts of the region’s shortfall are evident by implications on health, education, and social mobility, especially among those in the region with lower household incomes,” states Qingfang Wang, the center’s co-director.

For example, unaffordable housing costs typically inhibit low-income residents from living in opportunity-rich neighborhoods.

Low housing supply drives up home prices, placing homeownership out of reach for many, especially those with lower incomes.  For people with disabilities, the pool of housing available is further limited due to discrimination, accessibility issues, and lack of supportive housing options. 

Low-income households are more likely to live in overcrowded housing units, and overcrowding has been found to contribute to the spread of respiratory diseases and play a role in children’s academic performance and behavior. Additional consequences of unsustainable practices and unaffordability are discussed, including inequality, energy accessibility, and the effects of teleworking. 

(Header photo: Getty Images/MCCAIG)


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