Renters in San Luis Obispo County continue to face hard times, with 60 percent unable to afford the typical rent for a two-bedroom apartment, according to a group that works to provide housing for low-income rural residents.
The California Coalition for Rural Housing drew its data from a nationwide study compiled by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The numbers are in a study titled Out of Reach 2012.
The coalition said a San Luis Obispo worker must earn $22.35 hourly, or more than $46,000 annually, to afford the $1,162 rent for a typical two-bedroom apartment.
However, the median San Luis Obispo County renter household income is only $23,000. That, they said, puts a two-bedroom apartment out of reach for 60 percent of the renting population.
The coalition said California is one of the most expensive states in the country, second only to Hawaii.
The truth is (that) California has been well behind in housing production for decades, said Rob Wiener, the coalitions executive director.
The current supply of affordable rental homes has remained static while the demand continues to grow, he said. This has been exacerbated by the slashing of housing funds at all levels.
Wiener said the Legislature is reviewing a bill, SB 1220 the Housing Opportunity and Market Stabilization Act that would create a permanent funding source for affordable housing.
The bill, he said, proposes a modest fee on real estate document recordings.