One in 12 Students Experience Housing Insecurity
Increasing rent or mortgage costs, foreclosure, loss of a job, or simply not having enough money to afford the high upfront costs of renting or buying are challenges that can force many families into living conditions they would not choose otherwise. Living doubled- or tripled-up due to economic constraints can place stress on personal relationships, housing stock, public services, and infrastructure. When shared housing is not an option, the result can be homelessness. This indicator measures housing security in San Bernardino County by tracking the demand for rental assistance and public housing, the number of public school students who are homeless or have insecure housing arrangements, and the point-in-time homeless count.
How is San Bernardino County Doing?
Due to high demand and low supply, most residents seeking a rent subsidy from their local Housing Authority will wait many years before the opportunity arises:
- In 2017, there were over 40,000 households waiting for a rental assistance voucher.1
- A monthly average of approximately 8,761 households currently receive a voucher.
- The supply of vouchers remains limited because housing authorities have not had the opportunity to apply to the federal government for additional housing vouchers since 2003.
- In addition to voucher rental assistance, demand for affordable public housing is an estimated 16 times higher than available supply. 2
Approximately one in 12 school age students have insecure housing:
- In the 2017/18 school year, 33,286 San Bernardino County K-12 students were identified as homeless or lacking secure housing, representing 8.3% of total enrollment.3
- Among homeless and housing insecure students, 92% are living doubled- or tripled-up in a home due to economic hardship, 4% live in motels, 3% live in shelters, and 2% live unsheltered in cars, parks or campgrounds.
The San Bernardino County Homeless Count and Subpopulation Survey is an annual census of the number of people experiencing homelessness in a 24-hour period in January. 4 The 2018 count revealed the following:
- 2,118 people were homeless, which is 13.5% more than the 1,866 homeless that were counted in January 2017.
- 68% of the homeless counted in 2018 were unsheltered (1,447). The remainder were sheltered in some type of housing for the homeless.
- 94 seniors (defined as age 62 and over) were living unsheltered.
In the fall of 2017, the Housing Authority of San Bernardino County celebrated the grand opening of the Olive Meadow Affordable Housing Community with residents and community members. This community of 62 high-quality homes was completed in partnership with National Community Renaissance, the city of San Bernardino, the County of San Bernardino, the Hope through Housing Foundation, and other valuable partners. It represents the first onsite phase of the Waterman Gardens Affordable Housing site revitalization, which is part of a larger Arrowhead Grove Neighborhood Revitalization effort. The Arrowhead Grove effort calls for more than 400 housing units, community amenities, upgraded infrastructure, and an integrated educational environment.