Seniors facing eviction fear homelessness and isolation as California’s housing crisis rolls on

The threat of displacement and loss of community and routine can take a mental and physical toll. Experts say that’s especially true for seniors, who are perhaps the most vulnerable to California’s rising rents and evictions of any age group, and the fastest growing in the state.

There are signs that seniors are disproportionately affected by the types of evictions Canel now faces. Households with at least one person 62 or older made up 26% of no-fault evictions in Los Angeles city rent-controlled buildings between June 2014 and May 2019, according to the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department. By comparison, 13% of rental households in properties built before 1979 are headed by someone 65 or older, according to 2017 census estimates. (Most rent-controlled buildings in Los Angeles were constructed before 1979.)

But even when not facing eviction, seniors who depend on a fixed income have a harder time weathering rent increases, even the modest rises allowed under rent control. In 2016, 29% of all renter households in California spent more than half their income on housing, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. That figure rises to 35% of renters ages 65 to 79, and 42% of renters 80 or older.

Los Angeles Times