Families, particularly first-time home buyers, are increasingly unable to afford a home at current prices. The California Assn. of Realtors estimates that only 18% of Los Angeles County households can afford to purchase the county's median-priced home, which cost about $205,000 in September.
For that 18%, affordability requires that a family earn at least $67,000 a year, can afford to pay 30% of their income toward their mortgage and can scrape together a down payment of about $41,000, association spokesman Jeff Hershberger said.
Because high home prices threaten to destroy the American dream of home ownership for many, government at all levels has debated stepping in. In the Nov. 6 election, voters had to decide on housing assistance plans that would use tax dollars. Potential sources of government help have included the following:
Federal Government: The Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act.
Status: Passed by both houses of Congress. President Bush has until the end of November to sign the legislation.
Amount of Money: $27.5 billion for fiscal 1991 and $29.9 billion for fiscal 1992.
Details: Creates a revolving loan fund to buy down interest rates for first-time home buyers who earn up to 95% of the median income where they live. Assists families in public housing to buy their units. The bill also provides for government-subsidized private apartments to remain affordable.