How Housing Vouchers Can Help Address California’s Rental Crisis

Published: 2016 | Douglas Rice, Ehren Dohler, Alicia Mazzara | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities


California’s severe shortage of affordable housing has hit low-income renters particularly hard. Nearly 1.6 million low-income California renter households paid more than half of their income for housing in 2013, and this number has risen 28 percent since 2007. While the shortage is most severe on California’s coast, many families throughout California struggle to pay the rent (see Figure 1). A multifaceted approach with roles for local, state, and federal governments is needed to address the severe affordable housing shortage, but the federal Housing Choice Voucher program can play an outsized role.