Like most of Southern California, the Inland Empire is in bad need of housing. While many people consider the area a rather affordable, if not attractive, place to live, renters have actually experienced declining incomes and rapidly rising rents over the past 15 years.
Since 2000, median renter incomes in Riverside County have fallen 3% while rents have rising 32%. In San Bernardino County, incomes have fallen 9% and rents have increased 28% over the same period.
This has hit low income renters especially hard. The renters in the lower half of incomes spend a whopping 68% of their income on rent.
“To meet the needs of low-income residents, according to CHPC, Riverside County would need 66,209 more affordable units and San Bernardino County 78,983 more affordable units.”
While the pace of housing creating is slightly picking up, the Inland Empire is not creating anywhere near enough housing to meet these needs. Last year, Riverside County produced 4,600 units and San Bernardino produced 2,600. At these rates, it would take 14 years for Riverside and 30 years(!) for San Bernardino to meet the housing needs for its low income residents alone.