Failure to Launch; Young Adults Live with Parents Longer

Max Rodriguez

More and more young adults are living with their parents for longer than in previous generations, according to Census data, 1.5 million adult Californians have not left their parents home.

The failure to launch is true for most of the state, a report from Cal Matters shows about one in four Californians between 25 and 33-years-old are still living with mom and dad. The areas impacted are large cities and coastal towns but the trend is also affecting lower-income communities, the Imperial Valley sees the most young men living with their parents.

The majority of the young adults living with parents are people who work, go to college and contribute to society, however many cannot afford to leave their childhood homes.

Yulissa Ortiz is 21-years-old and she cannot afford to live on her own.

Ortiz said, “I do live with them by choice right now if it were easier not to live them I wouldn’t but it’s kind of expensive to live on my own right now.”

The current annual income for a 25-year-old is about $22,000, however, Julie Bornstein the Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, said they need to earn at least double that to afford a place to rent in California.

Bornstein said, “There are no affordable places for folks, even though they are working full time, these are not lazy people these are people who are employed and working full time but their wages are not high enough to be able to afford the average apartment.”

The Housing Coalition’s mission is to provide housing to people who struggle to afford it. The organization also does work in the Imperial Valley where about 55% of young men continue to live under their parent’s roof.

Bornstein, “When we started building in the Imperial Valley what we found there is that wages are even lower than many parts of the state.

She said the state has fallen behind on housing development projects since the 1980s and now the problem is reaching a boiling point.

Bonstein said, “There is a solution for that and it is to encourage our local governments to zone for and build more apartments.”

She said affordable apartments are the next logical step for young adults who are trying to move out of their parent’s but many millennials are struggling with the cost of the current inventory.

While Ortiz said she sees herself still living with her parents for at least the next few years, she said, “Working, studying I probably work about 35 hour-week every week and still I don’t think I would be able to live on my own.”

For its part, the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition is set to open almost 300 affordable units throughout the Coachella Valley, and 1,200 more in the next five years although the organization said it only covers about a third of the current housing needs.

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