Californians Get Creative: 5 ways locals are solving the housing problem


The old cliche, “necessity is the mother of invention,” couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to California and the housing market. According to the most recent census data, there are three people per household in California. That leaves very little room for error when it comes to finding housing that is affordable and available. With the high cost of living and housing, many Californians are forced to get creative about finding a place to live. Here are five ways locals are solving the housing problem:


More and more Californians are living with multiple generations under one roof. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans living in multi-generational households has been on the rise for the past decade. Multi-generational living has many advantages, including lower costs, increased support, and built-in child care.

This arrangement can take many forms, but the most common is when adult children move back in with their parents to save money. According to a recent study by the University of Southern California, 32% of young adults in Los Angeles County live with their parents, which is the highest percentage of any county in the nation.

Renting out rooms

Californians are also renting out rooms in their homes. This can be a great way to supplement your income and meet new people. Consider a few things before renting out rooms in your homes. It’s important to have the proper insurance. Renters insurance will protect your property in case of an accident or fire. It’s also a good idea to have liability insurance, which will cover you in case of any accidents that occur in your home. When renting to strangers, it’s also a good idea to screen your tenants carefully. Ask potential tenants for references and run a background check.

Adding ADUs

If you don’t have spare rooms to rent, consider adding more living space to your property. A growing trend in California is for homeowners to hire contractors to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on their property. According to Pedram Zohrevand, the President of CES4, ADUs are small, self-contained living units that can be used as a rental unit, attached junior, or an above carport apartment.

Adding an ADU to your property can provide a host of benefits, including extra income by renting out the space to tenants, friends, or family members. ADUs are also perfect for housing loved ones who have fallen on hard times or need assistance as they age. An ADU can also accommodate out-of-town guests.

Living outside the city

For some Californians, the only way to afford a house is to move to cheaper towns outside the major metropolitan areas. The most cost-effective places to live in California are in the Central Valley and Inland Empire, according to the website Movato.

While this may be an option for some, it’s not feasible for everyone. If a move means you’d be commuting long distances to work, it can affect your vehicle, health, and well-being. However, with the rise of working remotely, this may become a more viable option for some.

Life on wheels

A small but growing number of Californians are living in vans, RVs, and even converted school buses. This type of living can be very cost-effective, as you don’t have to pay rent or a mortgage. However, it does come with some challenges. For one, finding a place to park your vehicle can be difficult. You also have to deal with the elements and be prepared for emergencies. If you’re considering this type of living, it’s essential to research and ensure you’re ready for the challenges, Zohrevand advises. 

Final Thoughts 

Californians are known for their creativity, which extends to finding solutions to the housing crisis. While there is no easy solution, bunking up with multiple generations, moving to more affordable areas, adding ADUs to their property, and converting vehicles into creative tiny homes are just some of the innovative ways locals are adapting to the situation.

What do you think about these creative solutions to the housing crisis? Do you have any other ideas?


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