In spite of the challenges of 2020, in the middle of lockdown this spring we succeeded in helping a single mom and her young son rent a home. Thanks to the support of donors who gave just after the holidays of 2019, we were able to provide the Black family with the security deposit needed for the family to move in. Though the rent is still too high for Ms. Black to work a single full-time job (she has two jobs), the rate was a little lower than it was a year before.
Still, a Lack of Affordable Housing
Sadly, rent rates are not coming down fast enough, and though many households have been moving and taking advantage of lower rents, other households are still unable to afford the lowest rents of the San Francisco Bay Area, relying on the kindness of friends and neighbors to house them in rooms.
Construction costs are even worse, and they keep the prices of housing high. While other parts of the country are able to build homes at $150 a square foot, even with increased costs for materials, general contractors in counties of the Bay Area quote estimates at $1,500 per square foot. How can it cost 10 times more? Part of the problem is that contractors must pay their workers fair wages in order to afford living in the homes they build. It’s a chicken and egg problem.
Our Next Step
Plans are brewing for making truly affordable housing in the Bay Area—and the rest of the country—a reality. But to make this happen, we need funds. More on this to come.