Almanac

News - August 14, 2013

Average rent tops $2K a month in county

If you're making less than $85,000 a year and looking for a place to live in San Mateo County, it's a struggle, according to a report by the nonprofit HIP (Human Investment Project) Housing, an advocate for increasing the supply of housing affordable to people of low and very low incomes in the county.

The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,053 a month, an 8.2 percent increase over rents in July 2012, the report says.

Seven percent of the county's population was officially living in poverty and 38.7 percent paid rents of more than 35 percent of their take-home pay in 2011, according to the American Community Survey, a periodic update to the decennial census by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The number of homeless people observed in the county is up 12 percent since 2011, says the county's Health and Human Services Agency.

"People can't afford to live here, and not just people who are poor," says Kate Comfort Harr, executive director of HIP Housing. "This affects the health and well-being of not only our families but our community and economy as well."

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