5% Rent Increase Would Push 2,000 L.A. County Residents Into Homelessness: Study

Timoteo Arevalos, 55, in Boyle Heights' Hollenbeck Park in June. "This is home," said Arevalos, who grew up nearby. (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Timoteo Arevalos, 55, in Boyle Heights' Hollenbeck Park in June. "This is home," said Arevalos, who grew up nearby. (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

A 5% rent hike in Los Angeles County would push 2,000 more residents into homelessness, a study of the effect of rising housing costs warns.

The study was conducted by the real estate firm Zillow using census figures and homeless counts for the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

Research has shown that rising rents drive up homeless rates, particularly in cities with severe housing shortages such as Los Angeles. Zillow said it applied its own rental rate data to the established formula reflecting the connection to come up with new estimates.

The study, citing research that shows weaknesses in street and shelter counts, also said that L.A. County’s homeless population was more than 61,000 in January, compared with the 58,000 reported by local officials after the annual count held that month.

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