The cost of living is getting even more costly as rent in Palm Springs is at an all-time high this year.
“Rent is up. One-bedroom rent prices are up about 30% and two-bedrooms are up about 10%,” said Brian Carberry, Managing Editor of Rent.com. “Rent prices do slowly climb up year over year but not at the rates we’re seeing now.”
The average price to rent currently in Riverside County is $1,800 per month. If you’re in Palm Springs, you can expect that price to be higher, and that’s not including other expenses like electricity, water, gas, and sanitary waste that continues to increase year after year.
“If the rent is going up 20%, but your income is only going up 5%, who’s going to make up the difference?” said economist JohnPaul Valdez. “It just isn’t reasonable to expect people to pay that kind of rent.”
With housing being most people’s largest monthly expense, and incomes remaining stagnant, if not decreasing, it’s impossible for many to get by.
“The number one reason for folks entering homelessness is because they can’t afford their rent,” said Heather Vaikona, President and CEO of Lift To Rise. “Wages just do not suffice to keep folks housed.”
“It isn’t just the homeless that need housing,” said Valdez. “It’s the working poor that need housing, and the working population in general.”
Right now, Riverside County, Lift To Rise, and Inland So-Cal United Way are operating a county-wide rental assistance program for Riverside County residents who need help paying their rent.”
“To date, we’ve dispersed more than 90 million dollars in rental assistance and kept more than 13,000 folks housed,” said Vaikona. “And there still is a lot of resources for us to disperse across the next year.”
Along with seeking financial assistance, experts also encourage the community to advocate for affordable housing at city council meetings.
“We really need all of our cities to prioritize using their resources for the production of housing and the production of affordable housing, and that’s really possible when people show up and advocate for their needs and the needs of their communities,” said Vaikona. “We have to radically shift the way our society operates so we can keep folks housed. This isn’t I can work my way out of this, we have to change the way we invest in our communities. Folks can show up and participate so we have more affordable housing in the future.”