The Need in Northern California
The San Francisco Bay Area housing market has long been one of the most expensive in the nation. An economic growth spurt in the late 1990s and 2000 brought more people and industry to the area very quickly, even though there was insufficient housing for these new residents. In 1998 alone, for example, the Bay Area added 70,000 new jobs but only 28,700 homes.
The median income for the San Francisco Bay Area grew to $47,852 in 2000 with the median Bay Area household paying 38% of its income for housing. It was -- and continues to be -- a difficult situation for those at or above median income. However, it is much worse for those below median income.
The jobs with the highest growth rates often paid the lowest (i.e., in 2000 the second fastest growing job in the East Bay -- a cashier -- had to work 105 hours a week to afford the average Alameda county rent). The San Jose Mercury News, for instance, found in a 2000 survey there were 35 advertisements in local newspapers during a 2 week period to rent floor space at a rate between $150 and $200 per month.
To help resolve this problem, NCLT trains potential residents and builds/rehabilitates properties for rental opportunities and as part of the homeownership opportunity ladder. (Statistics from Housing California, East Bay Alliance for Sustainable Economy, and East Bay Housing Organizations)