Housing does more than just shelter; it affects our lives in a multitude of ways, such as shaping our sense of community and belonging, and determining our access to work, education, and leisure activities. Importantly, housing is a topic area that intersects with many others, including education, health, and social services, just to name a few. For example, research has found that stable housing positively affects a child’s performance in school, and their parent’s income, which reduces overall stress and financial stress for the entire household.
California has been on the forefront of a housing crisis that encompasses issues like housing affordability, housing availability, and homelessness. For example, The 2019 Point-In-Time (PIT) count report released by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) indicated there were 151,278 homeless individuals in California, which is nearly a 15% increase since 2017. The effects of these challenges are also reflected in the Inland Empire. With the region’s rapid population growth and high demand for housing, increasing supply is required to keep up with demand. Without a supply of new homes, potential homebuyers can be priced out by the rising prices over the years. Without affordable rental housing many lower-income families have few options and have to make difficult decisions about how to spend limited finances. The growing housing shortage was intensified because of the 2008-2009 recession, which crippled the construction sector and stalled housing production throughout California.