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The housing crunch

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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%

These figures come from City Councilman Eric Garcetti's latest newsletter (belated congrats to Garcetti on becoming the new City Council President). We're glad that Garcetti has been working diligently to create long-term solutions for affordable housing in the city.
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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