SF Chronicle: More housing or more homelessness

SF Chronicle: More housing or more homelessness
September 12, 2017 Peter

An encampment on the outskirts of Placerville, in El Dorado County. Photo: Michael Macor, The ChronicleAs legislators come perilously close to extending their already impressive record of failure to face California’s housing emergency, they should consider yet another measure of the statewide scope of the suffering. With bills to boost housing development and subsidies still in the balance and only a few days of legislating left in the year, a Chronicle analysis of the state’s homeless population showed that the housing shortage and its consequences go well beyond San Francisco and the state’s other wealthy coastal cities. A 15 percent increase in unsheltered Californians over the past two years encompassed startling growth in the homeless populations of rural counties such as El Dorado (122 percent) and Butte (76 percent), where more have landed on the streets of small cities such as Chico and in encampments in rural areas such as Lake Tahoe. While these counties have seen rent increases that rival those of the Bay Area, they lack a comparable network of social services.

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