Justin Sullivan, Getty Images News
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 15: A large 'rent' banner is posted on the side of an apartment building on June 15, 2012 in San Francisco, California. According to a report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, the tepid real estate market could see a turnaround with the price of rental properties surging and vacancies dropping from 10.6 percent in 2009 to 9.5 percent last year, the lowest level since 2002.
If you’re looking to rent an apartment in the bay area you’ll have to reach deeper in your pocket than you would have last year. A lot deeper.
A report by RealFacts shows that the average monthly rent increased greatly over the past year. Oakland had an incredible spike in average rent cost of 14.4 percent. San Francisco’s rate went up by 12.9 percent and the average monthly rent in San Jose increased by 10.1 percent.
“It makes it more difficult for low-income or seniors to look for a place to live,” said Clarice Veloso, communications director for the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California.
And while it is true that low-income families will struggle as the cost of rent in the bay gets higher, NPH says the lack of affordable housing means more people must commute to work from further away.
According to the Mercury News, renting in the Bay Area is getting more expensive due to the improving job market. But Michael Lane, policy director for NPH, says that people aren’t taking into consideration that two-thirds of jobs created by the technology rebound will average a salary of $50,000 per year, which might not be enough.
“Governor Brown eliminated funding for redevelopment agencies who create affordable housing,” Lane said.
Cuts to affordable housing funding in conjunction with people being forced into the rental world by foreclosures will make waiting lists for housing even longer, creating what Lane refers to as “the perfect storm.”
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development deals primarily with affordable housing, and San Francisco regional administrator Ophelia Basgal also cites the California governor’s elimination of redevelopment services as a significant concern.
“This is a cyclical situation,” said Basgal. “There’s going to be more demand for housing services we provide.”
HUD has an online affordable apartment search page that can help people find a subsidized apartment listings anywhere in the country.