From 2000 to 2015, the state lost nearly 800,000 residents with incomes near or below the poverty line. Nearly three-quarters of those who left California since 2007 made less than $50,000 annually. The leading destination for California’s poor? Texas.

People 55 and older own 53 percent of U.S. owner-occupied houses, the biggest share since the government started collecting data in 1900...That’s up from 43 percent a decade ago. Those ages 18 to 34 possess just 11 percent. When they were that age, baby boomers had homes at almost twice that level... Property-tax exemptions for longtime residents keep older Americans from moving. Zoning rules make it harder to build affordable apartments attractive to senior citizens.

Because of rising housing costs and stagnant wages, slightly more than half of all poor renting families in the country spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs, and at least one in four spends more than 70 percent. Yet America’s national housing policy gives affluent homeowners large benefits; middle-class homeowners, smaller benefits; and most renters, who are disproportionately poor, nothing.

California's housing-supply slump has driven home prices to levels unseen since 2007, before the dawn of the financial crisis. The current median home value in California is just under $490,000, up nearly 7% from this time last year and more than twice the national median. Homeownership in the state is at a 70-year low ... And cities that were once considered the West's more affordable big markets, like Denver, Portland, and Seattle, are now experiencing some of the fastest-rising rents

Public funds, including millions of dollars from California’s cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse gas emissions, are going to developers to build new homes in freeway pollution hot spots. The population near Los Angeles freeways is growing faster than elsewhere in the city as planners push developers to concentrate new housing near transportation hubs, convinced that increasing urban density will help meet state targets for greenhouse gas reductions.

One in five homeless Americans live in California, where the problem is especially acute. In the Golden State and three other western states – Hawaii, Nevada and Oregon – more than 50% of homeless people are categorized as unsheltered, meaning they are living in the streets, vehicles or parks, in places not fit for humans to stay. In New York, by comparison, the number is less than 5%.

The affordability crisis in US cities is not just about buying homes. Rents, too, have been rising since the Great Recession. In the coastal and hot cities...those increases have put even rentals out of reach for many in the middle class–defined as those making between $50 to $125,000... In 2016, the capital required to sign a lease on the average-priced $3,500-a-month apartment in San Francisco often topped $12,000...for first and last month’s rent plus security deposits and a broker fee.

Foreign investors dropped out of Vancouver’s property market...after the provincial government imposed a 15 percent surcharge to stem a surge in home prices... The Canadian city...has long been a favored destination among global property investors, who have been blamed for fomenting escalating prices. The new tax went into effect...amid public pressure in the region, where home prices are almost double the national average of C$473,105.

apartments designed primarily for middle-class teachers have been an unintentional boon for the cafeteria workers, bus drivers and special education assistants who make up the lowest-paid group in the school system. The problem for teachers, as district officials learned after they had signed the lease agreements and developers had secured funding, was that even the newest hires earned too much to qualify for the units.

The city's white households have a median net worth — the value of their assets minus their debts — of about $250,000. The median net worth of black households: zero. And almost 80 percent of white families own a home, while just a third of black families do ... that means blacks have much less ability than whites to pass wealth on to their children — perpetuating the racial wealth gap ... Whites are more likely to get help to buy a house or more likely to get help to pay for education.