August 21, 2014
Publication:
The Economist: Print Edition

Jose Marroquin lives with his mother, wife and four children in a tiny apartment in a rough part of town. It costs the seven of them $1,080 a month: about two-thirds of their cash income, most of which comes from Mr Marroquin’s job as a forklift driver. Steep rents for tiny spaces are the norm in dense cities like New York or San Francisco. But Mr Marroquin lives in Los Angeles, a city known for spacious homes and sprawl. Even in South Central LA, which is poor and gang-plagued, renting a place to live is expensive. A new study by the University of California, Los Angeles concludes that LA has the least affordable rental homes in America, and other reports rate California as the worst state both for renters and mortgage-payers....

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