Roughly half of Oakland’s households (47 percent) are living in a state of persistent financial insecurity, lacking enough savings to make it even three months at the poverty level if they were to lose a job or suffer any type of income disruption, new research shows.
The inability of these so-called “liquid asset poor” families to bounce back from financial pitfalls can be traced in large measure to the skyrocketing cost of housing in Oakland and Alameda County, according to the data analysis released by Family Assets Count, a project of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) and the Assets & Opportunity Initiative in collaboration with Citi Community Development, the Urban Strategies Council and the Alameda County Community Asset Network (ACCAN).
More than half (53 percent) of the renters in Alameda County and 41 percent of homeowners are “housing cost burdened,” meaning they’re spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Twenty-three percent of households in Alameda County and 26 percent of households in Oakland spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing. According to recently published data, as of October 2015 the median rent in Oakland had reached $2,444, not including utilities. This means a full-time worker would need to make $47 an hour to reasonably afford a median-priced apartment, the analysis found.
The new data were released at a briefing today announcing a commitment from Mayor Libby Schaaf’s office and Supervisor Wilma Chan to work collaboratively with other elected officials, philanthropy and nonprofit partners to improve pathways to financial education, living wages, sustainable employment and affordable housing.
This new report for Oakland and Alameda County is available here.