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Study: If rents rise 5%, 2,000 Angelenos could be pushed onto the streets

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The study projects LA rents will rise 4.5 percent next year

The homeless population in Los Angeles swelled last year, and a new study by Zillow finds that if rents keep increasing, many more people will be pushed onto the streets, reports the Los Angeles Times.

A 3-percent increase in the Los Angeles metro area’s median rent would leave an estimated 1,180 people homeless, according to Zillow. An increase of 5 percent could force 2,000 Angelenos on the street. By some estimates, median rents this year are already up 5 percent over the same time last year.

Zillow estimates rents will go up 4.5 percent next year.

Separate research has also connected climbing rents and the increase in the homeless population. For this study, “Zillow said it applied its own rental rate data to the established formula reflecting the connection to come up with new estimates” for how many LA residents would lose shelter in the wake of a rent increase, the Times says.

Experts told the Times that in cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York, which don’t have enough affordable housing, the link between rent increases and homelessness is strong.

Rent increases work to directly push people from their homes, but also contribute indirectly to homelessness: When rents are higher, people are also likely to have less money available for things like emergency medical expenses.

The Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority estimates that 34,189 people in the city of LA experience homelessness on any given night, according to the most recent numbers from their annual count. The agency estimates there are approximately 58,000 homeless people countywide.