Letters to the Editor

Millennials face a different reality in California than generations before them

A home for sale on Garibaldi Avenue in San Luis Obispo.
A home for sale on Garibaldi Avenue in San Luis Obispo. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

This is in response to the letter by Joni Nelson, blaming millennials for their inability to afford housing in California (“Maybe millennials shouldn’t be able to live in California,” June 8).

Here are the facts. When my husband and I moved to SLO in 1969, he was earning approximately $11,000 a year. We bought a house in SLO for $28,000, approximately 2 1/2 times our annual income. Today, an ordinary house in this town costs about $500,000, and in 2014 the median household income for San Luis Obispo County was $59,454. A little math tells us that a simple house now costs eight times the median annual income.

Similarly, when I went to school (UCLA) there was no tuition. Fees were $150 a year. Books were cheap. Today, tuition for a year at UCLA is $13,254, not counting the cost of dorms or books. Books now often cost $400 apiece. So let’s not compare the financial world for millennials to what we faced in our youth. This is a false comparison and a cruel one.

Marsha Epstein, Nipomo