The housing crunch
In Los Angeles we sort of live in our cars, but we do have to have someplace to park them. And stretch out a bit, even sleep. And having that home sweet home is just not that easy for Angelenos.
Average home price in Los Angeles County, September 2005: $494,000 Monthly payments on such a house, assuming 10% down, 6% interest, and 30-year fixed rate: $2,665/month
Maximum portion of income under federal guidelines that should go to housing needs: 1/3
Salary required to afford such a house under that guideline: $96,000/yr
Average rent for an apartment, Los Angeles County, September 2005: $1,441/month
Full-time wage required to afford such an apartment under federal guideline: $27/hr
Occupancy rate for rental housing in Los Angeles: 97%
But that's really to help poor families, who are majorly squeezed. For those of us who aren't technically poor, but aren't making $96,000 either, the best advice seems to be: don't move.
photo of fugly West LA apartments by rutabegabunny on Flickr