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LA's Scary Shortage of Affordable Housing, By the Numbers

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It's not exactly a newsflash that trying to find affordable housing in LA is tough. Many people end up paying way more than they can "afford" by the old spend-30-percent-of-your-check-on-rent rule; those who can't have to suck it up and just live in a craphole. There's just not enough decent housing that people can afford, and the problem's not getting better. Two years ago, 1,000 people applied for 92 affordable apartments over the Westlake/MacArthur Park subway station; last month, 1,500 people applied for 62 apartments in Boyle Heights. Now, the LA Times shows us, there's a chance for the city of Los Angeles to put some cash in the affordable housing coffers, but it would mean taking money that was set aside for balancing the city's budget. Balance the budget or start to make up for the insane housing shortage that's left citizens broke and sometimes homeless? Let's look at the numbers involved:

26 percent: The increase in homelessness in Los Angeles over 2013, according to a December report from the US Conference of Mayors
$108 million: The amount of money LA had six years ago in its "affordable housing trust fund"
$26 million: The amount of money LA has this year to spend on affordable housing
1,300: The number of affordable apartments it's estimated the city could fund with the difference
1,200: The number of units that LA helped fund in 2008, at "the peak of funding"
250: The number of units that will likely be funded in the near future if no additional funds are added (once in-progress projects are finished)
82,000: The number of new units that the city estimates it'll need by 2021
500: The number of units city officials estimate LA could help produce annually if it put 35 percent of tax revenue that used to go toward the no-longer-existing redevelopment agencies into the city's affordable housing fund
35 percent: The highest amount of tax revenue that one housing department plan suggests spending on affordable housing each year (it would start at 10 percent, then over three years grow to 35 percent and continue at that rate)
25 percent: The amount of tax money the alternative plan suggests spending on affordable housing each year
· L.A. politicians weigh plan to replenish affordable housing fund [LAT]