"Homeless Explosion": Tech Boom, Surging Rents Creating Homeless Crisis On America's West Coast

Tyler Durden's picture

America's liberal left coast states count themselves among the most adamant supporters of controversial pieces of legislation intended to support low-income families.  From their stunningly high income tax rates to their $15 minimum wage mandates, states like California and Washington are leading the charge on implementing Bernie's socialist agenda.

Of course, some of the biggest advocates of that socialist agenda are the billionaire leaders of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies...which is precisely why it's so ironic that it's the "tech boom" being enjoyed by those billionaires that has resulted in surging housing prices and what SFGate described earlier today as a "homeless explosion pushing West Coast cities to the brink."

Housing prices are soaring here thanks to the tech industry, but the boom comes with a consequence: A surge in homelessness marked by 400 unauthorized tent camps in parks, under bridges, on freeway medians and along busy sidewalks. The liberal city is trying to figure out what to do.


"I've got economically zero unemployment in my city, and I've got thousands of homeless people that actually are working and just can't afford housing," said Seattle City Councilman Mike O'Brien. "There's nowhere for these folks to move to."


That struggle is not Seattle's alone. A homeless crisis is rocking the entire West Coast, pushing abject poverty into the open like never before.


Nationally, homelessness has been trending down, partly because governments and nonprofit groups have gotten better at moving people into housing. That's true in many West Coast cities, too, but the flow the other direction is even faster.


"So everybody who was just hanging on because they had cheap rent, they're losing that ... and they wind up outside," said Margaret King, director of housing programs for the nonprofit DESC in Seattle. "It's just exploded."


According to stats gathered by the Associated Press, some 168,000 people in California, Oregon and Washington count themselves among the growing tally of homeless folks who can't afford housing.

Official counts taken earlier this year in California, Oregon and Washington show 168,000 homeless people in the three states, according to an AP tally of every jurisdiction in those states that reports homeless numbers to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That is 19,000 more than were counted in 2015, although the numbers may not be directly comparable because of factors ranging from the weather to new counting methods.


—During the same period, the number of unsheltered people in the three states climbed 18 percent to 105,000.


Rising rents are the main culprit. The median one-bedroom apartment in the San Francisco Bay Area is more expensive than it is in the New York City metro area, for instance.


—Since 2015, at least 10 cities or municipal regions in California, Oregon and Washington have declared emergencies due to the rise of homelessness, a designation usually reserved for natural disasters.

Of course, when home prices double in a matter of just a few years and are seemingly just as volatile as a tech stock circa March 2000, you know there's a problem.

Meanwhile, as we pointed out a few weeks ago (see: San Diego's Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreak Turns "Statewide Epidemic" As "Outbreak Could Last Years"), the homeless crisis in California has resulted in an alarming hepatitis A outbreak that started in San Diego and is now on the verge of reaching statewide epidemic status as cases have spread through homeless tent cities all the way north to Sacramento.

California’s outbreak of hepatitis A, already the nation’s second largest in the last 20 years, could continue for many months, even years, health officials said Thursday.


At least 569 people have been infected and 17 have died of the virus since November in San Diego, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles counties, where local outbreaks have been declared.


Dr. Monique Foster, a medical epidemiologist with the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters Thursday that California’s outbreak could linger even with the right prevention efforts.


“It’s not unusual for them to last quite some time — usually over a year, one to two years,” Foster said.

Of course, as SFGate points out, local governments on the West Coast are responding to the crisis in the best way they know how, namely by raising taxes...

All along the West Coast, local governments are scrambling for answers — and taxpayers are footing the bill.


Voters have approved more than $8 billion in spending since 2015 on affordable housing and other anti-homelessness programs, mostly as tax increases. Los Angeles voters, for example, approved $1.2 billion to build 10,000 units of affordable housing to address a homeless population that's reached 34,000 people within city limits.

...which should only serve to accelerate the number of businesses relocating to Texas.

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jmack's picture

for smart people, they sure are stupid.


IH8OBAMA's picture

I wonder if this has anything to do with the millions of uneducated illegal aliens Cali welcomed into their state?  Now the Cali taxpayers have to pay for them.


God Emperor's picture

Snowflakes really getting desperate to get a free meal.

So that's why there are so many leaks out there. 

By leaks meaning Hollywood whores pimping themselves into the spotlight

Dylan Penn Leaked Nude Rubbing her Shaved Pussy


Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

wee-weed up's picture

"America's West Coast" = America's Left Coast

Overfed's picture

We can just raise property taxes some more to pay for feeding and sheltering the homeless. While we're at it, let's make the aquisition of a building permit even more byzantine, and don't let any new industry start up.





Do you guys really need the /s?

JoeSexPack's picture

Skid Row of LA looks like Lagos, Nigeria.




MSM won't show that over 90% appear male, black & mentally-ill. Shanty towns there make Hoovervilles of 30's look good.


Away from there the demographics change, with camps near rivers & freeways.


Many more in vehicles doing urban camping.

RAT005's picture

That tax increase for additional homeless residences is $1.2 billion divided by 10,000 units is $120K per unit.  1 bedroom apartments can be built for about $50K each.

auricle's picture

All my selfish liberal voting friends who hate Trump are soooo happy that their home values are increasing. Clueless!!!!!!

techpriest's picture

And normally high prices = time to build more and more affordable housing, but apparently certain elements on city councils keep getting in the way.

Xena fobe's picture

Additional units do not equal affordable units.  No one wants to live in an agennda 21 style city.  Well, maybe millenials do. 

The_Dude's picture

And they would be destroyed and uninhabitable within the year...

vealparm's picture

Where did all the Katrina FEMA trailers go?  Ship them out to the leftist coast.

Xena fobe's picture

The RE industry and illegal alien lobby who caused this problem are glad to pass the cost for fixing it on to tax payers. 

glenlloyd's picture

I was under the impression that California had the means to support all these people. There's so much money...free food and federal funding...and all that.

This will surely not be a problem when California secedes from the union and becomes a country of its own...right? We just need to make sure that a passport is required to move from the new country of California to the rest of the United States.

PT's picture

Why does everyone over-complicate this?
Income minus (either mortgage repayments or rent ) = money left over for food, bills and all the other crap you need.
Yes, I understand people's tastes are different but it isn't too hard to come up with a rough figure for other expenditures.  You're probably going to need more than one cabbage leaf per week to survive, and if you have no garden then you probably won't be growing too much food etc.

So what happened to the old "When people don't buy, prices come down until people do buy."?
What happened to "When prices are high, more producers get in on it for the extra profits, produce more, and excess supply brings prices back down"?

Yeah, I know.  "Land, they ain't making it any more."
I wonder, did the idiots stop borrowing or did the banksters stop lending?

Skateboarder's picture

I'm in LA right now and some of the tent cities and general shittiness look worse than the 3rd world.

Demologos's picture

Agree. Shockingly bad and started well before Trump was elected let alone inaugurated.

Hundreds are living along the "rivers" (dry flood control channels), I'm waiting for a fire to take off in the string of tents that kills dozens, or a disease outbreak that spreads to the general population.

Our TV news, for LA and Orange counties, has little or no coverage of the bleach spraying in San Diego. When disease spreads they will act surprised.

TruthHunter's picture

Ain't it awful!

Mumbai's sidewalks are lined with sleepers, with no tents.

JibjeResearch's picture

You raise taxes.., the home owner raises rent...

There's no free lunch...

buttmint's picture


I have four apartments, high end. I had this CUNT break her lease. I kept her damage deposit.

Luckily, I sussed out Dr. Google at the last minute and no shit---legally hadda return her damage deposit. YOU BET FROM NOW ON...all will have to pay for that CUNT'S indescretion.

You think landlording is easy? Try it sometime!

takeaction's picture

I have 5 apartments...and now in Portland if you evict somebody with no cause...you have to pay between $2900 and $4500 to them for relocation costs.  Can you believe that?



So...what this does is make me be VERY careful on who I rent to.  Credit Check...First + Last + deposit.....otherwise...go live in a tent.

All this program does is make it really hard for losers to get a place...and people with rentals are NOW EXTRA careful.


konadog's picture

Libtards never tire of destroying property rights - or any other rights for that matter.

Xena fobe's picture

Poor rich property hoarder. 

freedom1798's picture

Plus, as a landlord, you get to burn in hell for eternity. 

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

Try renting to idiots who bring their truck engine into the condo living room, fuck up the new rugs and grease up the newly painted walls, break the doors, then use a shotgun to blow their brains out in rhe bathroom...after previously being shot in the gut at the local gin mill. His wife cut down all of the rose bushes and grape vines becuse she "hated" them. Then after the body is removed, and the brains and blood are cleaned up at my expense, she steals my wife's dog and an antique cabinet, then asks fot the security deposit to be returned. Being a landlord is a great adventure! As the raven said, "NEVERMORE!"

Lore's picture

Quite right. It ain't rocket science.

On a different note, I find it interesting how many policymakers seem to regard 'mental illness' as a kind of justification for homelessness, rather than an EFFECT.  Realistically, anyone who has to live in a shitty, toxic environment is BOUND to suffer mentally in various fairly predictable ways, which is why (for example) police departments make a point of removing officers from skid row assignments after a couple of years, if not sooner, because it tends to wear down the psyche, eroding your interactions with peers and your own family, even having the potential to ruin marriages and careers.  Spend enough time on the street, and everything about your identity is eroded, from values to speech patterns.

The rational course of action is a basic matter of survival and self-preservation: GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE. MOVE FAR AWAY. LEAVE, AND NEVER COME BACK.

This brings us to the next point stubbornly ignored by policymakers: THERE IS NO COSMIC COMMANDMENT THAT YOU MUST BE ENTITLED TO LIVE IN THAT PARTICULAR URBAN CENTER.  There must be numerous small towns 500 miles in any direction where you could find more affordable cost of living, with cheaper rents and property values, opportunities for personal enrichment through various constructive activities, and where productive jobs go unfilled.  This is certainly the case in Canada.  Sadly, like their USA counterparts, local progressivist control freaks who think they know better than markets seek to expand the scope of their incursion into your life through "affordable" (read: crony-developer subsidized) housing and endless social programs, thereby entrenching and encouraging (e.g., "harm reduction") the very social ills they purport to remedy. Such is the perversity of progressivism.  When SHTF, may such bureaucrats find themselves on the receiving end.

Xena fobe's picture

There is a ton of shitty neighbirhood destroying multi family housing being built.  But only for sale to new immigrants from China.  For each of these new high density units, an American family was forced out of a traditional SFR.

Lore's picture

What do you mean, "forced?" 

(I'm not arguing; I just want to understand. I know of many examples where owners are receiving top-dollar offers for 50-year old bulldozer fodder.)

Xena fobe's picture

Renters forced out.  There are some poorly maintained commercial and apartments.  But rarely see a run down home.  I am in a sluburb of LA.



Lore's picture

I see. Thanks for clarifying.

It would be interesting to talk with some of the buyers.  What are their expectations for the future?  What changes do they anticipate?  One hopes that more is at play than mere speculation, like we see in Vancouver and Toronto. 

Bernie Madolf's picture

Nice! I usually don't click links here but I may look again after posting this!

Bastiat's picture

Who Dylan Penn and why should I care what she rubs?

NoDebt's picture

For rent: 100 sq. ft. Coleman tent.  Prime sidewalk location.  Easy access to public transportation, bathing fountain and local park.  $2,900/mo.


Mr. Universe's picture

Sounds like it is right on the UN Plaza in that wunnafel Sanctuary city that knew how, San Francisco. Cheap at half the price!


Endgame Napoleon's picture

Funny, even with an avalanche of underemployment of citizens, according to the MSM, the economy everywhere has been great since Bush left and even before if you count the stock-casino cheerleading.

Those illegal aliens in CA are among the groups in the free or reduced-cost housing, which is available on a pay-per-birth basis.

Single, childless citizens need not apply, but they can pay the full market rate to live in mixed-income apartment units that are full of nothing but single moms who get a reduced rate and whose other household bills, like groceries, are also financed by taxpayers in increasing amounts per child produced.

They must work the arduous, welfare-reform minimum of 20 hours per week, staying below the income limit for welfare, to qualify.

Landlords are given a per-unit tax credit to build the reduced-cost apartment complexes, which are in nicer, safer areas of cities than most childless college grads can afford. Well, the CS grads could afford that and better, but not English, history, art, PSY, POLS or sociology grads.

It pays to have children that you cannot afford, whether or not you are married and whether or not you are a citizen. It pays far more than a degree, hard work or production. Womb productivity is the key to avoiding homelessness.

Ruth116's picture

I like this website, but I'm disappointed in the lack of compassion and blame that get said on here, especially the fowl language.  Many of you blame the Jews for everything, then the Mexicans.  What about you?  Are you part of the problem?  Oregon is a Democratic state run by ignorant people who raise taxes at a whim.  I believe most of them are bent toward communism.  People who own properties are looking to make it rich by raising rent to prices that are ridiculous for dumps.  The homeless population has mixed races.  I've haved hired a  few and they do not want to work.  Mental health issures are prevalant, and drug use.  Throwing money at the issue is not going to help.  When they build more buildings to house these people who beniefits?  It's always about the money isn't it? "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."        2 Thessalonians 2:10.  They say America is 85% Christian.  Really?

jbwilson24's picture

Fowl language??? Fowl??

Triggered left winger I see. Hint: there is no requirement in a liberal democracy for compassion. None. 

The idea that illegal aliens are not contributing to homelessness and a decrease in wages for the working class is preposterous. Each one of them competes for jobs and shelter against americans.

By the way, do you EVER think it is appropriate to blame Jewish people, or are they beyond criticism?

Hint: look at the faces involved in all the hollywood sexual assault claims. It's a bar mitzvah.

Buck Johnson's picture

It's going to end badly for California.



El Oregonian's picture

Double Decker tents... Upstairs and downstairs single tents.

Pack 'em and stack'em.

Just say'in

takeaction's picture

Here in Portland...the Homeless problem is OUT OF CONTROL...

Shit...If I were homeless...I would find enough cans or bottles to get to Florida or Hawaii....these cold rainy states..WHY??

ZD1's picture

The welfare, weed and drugs are better and easier to obtain in the Peoples Republic of Portland. 

konadog's picture

Honolulu has one of the worst homeless problems in the US. Think housing is pricey in Portland?  Try Honolulu. The libtards have controlled Hawaii for over 50 years. It's a good place to look if you want a glimpse of the future.  The Hawaii tards actually tried to characterize being homeless as a medical disorder so they could pilfer Medicare funds to house them (of course, leaving truly sick and poor people without funding for treatment). That little plan didn't pass, but it demonstrated the depravity and mental illness of these asswipes.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

It is Medicaid that covers some housing, mostly for the elderly, but it is not like the $35-per-month Section 8 rent of the single moms. The elderly pay close to market rates with just a rent reduction. It is the same with food stamps. When I worked at the Department of Human Services, all of the elderly applicants got only $10 per month in EBT, whereas the average citizen single momma or illegal alien momma with paycheck stubs from a sole, male breadwinner left there with $450 per month in free food alone, not counting cash assistance or $6,269 child tax credits. Single, childless citizens who were not elderly got zero beyond 3 months of EBT [only] at $144 per month every 3 years. They could reapply for 3 more month’s worth every 3 years, regardless of income.

Demologos's picture

I'm writing this from downtown Portland and there is literally shit on the sidewalks. You have to watch your step or risk slipping on a pile and breaking a hip.

Herp and Derp's picture

It is Indians voting us into India.

Michael Musashi's picture

California is 3rd world. As a matter of fact, I'm being kind when I say that. They can no longer brag about the wether, when the state of the State is crumbling. By far the worst place in the country. Even the "rich areas" are $hitty.

911bodysnatchers322's picture

They're all bitcoin millionaires though. One guy has a shower tent and it's half a bitcoin to use

khakuda's picture

But don't these people know there is no inflation?

If we only had more inflation in the cost of living, everything would be great.  Then, they wouldn't be able to afford tents.

Central bankers.  Geniuses.

JohnG's picture

This is the result of failing to follow rule #1: