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Affordable Housing and Homelessness in Long Beach  poster

Affordable Housing and Homelessness in Long Beach

Published: Monday, 29 November 2021

Written by Isaac Julian, ASI Senator at-Large

Ranking at number 10 on the touropia list of the top 15 cities to visit in California, the city of Long Beach has gradually become a tourist attraction for an array of reasons. The vast sense of community alongside the city’s proximity to the beach has subtly encouraged visitors to move into the city. However, due to the increase in people looking to move here, there isn’t enough housing in Long Beach to accommodate the demand. The price for rent gradually begins to increase as well.

To elaborate, the cost of living in Long Beach has been on the rise. It was reported by the Press-Telegram on July 24, 2021, that in Long Beach, 57% of tenants are considered rent-burdened, spending more than 30% of their monthly take-home pay on rent.

The increase in prices has often left residents and students homeless since they have difficulty affording the cost of living in the city. The city of Long Beach identified 2,034 individuals experiencing homelessness in 2020, which is a 7% increase from the 1,894 people reported in 2019. The surge in numbers has led the city council to work towards combating homelessness and making housing more affordable.

Recently, the city council decided to make changes to their Inclusionary Housing Policy. To give some context, this policy was first introduced to the council in January of 2021 to ensure that Long Beach residents have access to more affordable housing. This policy requires developers to include affordable units in future projects, and failure to do so results in them having to pay fees that help fund low-cost units. Incorporating this policy guarantees more affordable housing opportunities and will help reduce the number of residents and students who are homeless.

The city is also working towards providing the homeless population with sanctioned encampment sites. While it is currently under development, the idea is that members of the homeless community will have access to shelter, as well as a mental health specialist if needed.

“For me, it’s recognizing the homeless situation. We do not have enough houses to house people,” James Howat, a member of the Homeless Services Advisory Committee said in an interview with the Long Beach Post.

The city is committed to serving the needs of its constituents. Officials have compiled a list of privately-owned affordable housing units. You can find that list and more information at