Keep Sacramento affordable

The cost of living is spiraling out of control, and gentrification is making it worse

Steven Lee is a clerk at Goodwill Industries in Sacramento.

Steven Lee is a clerk at Goodwill Industries in Sacramento.

I definitely believe that Sacramento is changing to become very expensive for many people, including myself.

In 1996, apartments rented for only about $500 a month. In 2018, rents are averaging $1,500 a month. The cost of everything just seems to be going up, but our wages aren’t.

Now with the rise of gentrification, the cost of living has spiraled completely out of control. Residents are getting wrongfully evicted because of landlords wanting to raise rents to outrageously expensive levels. In addition, the cost of homes have dramatically increased. Twenty years ago, people could buy for $100,000. Now, those same homes cost $500,000.

We are now seeing many of the poor being completely pushed out of the Sacramento region. In many cases, only the wealthy can afford to live here, especially in neighborhoods such as downtown, Midtown, Alkali Flat, South Land Park, East Sacramento, Boulevard Park, McKinley Park, the Handle District, Freeport and now even Oak Park.

And very little seems to be done by local governments to address this problem.

As a society, we should collaboratively work toward creating more jobs that offer a living wage and toward building more affordable housing. Our society should not be systematically engineered for only the wealthiest to afford. We need to create a society that is fair, just and equitable for everyone.

Another area our region needs to improve is the public transportation system. Sacramento Regional Transit does not serve enough areas with light rail, and its bus routes are in need of great improvement. Many bus routes offer only very limited service and often run late. And fares are prohibitively expensive; an adult monthly transit pass costs $100. Many people cannot afford that, including myself.

I hope that we find all our opinions and suggestions helpful. And I hope that we as a community can collaboratively work toward solutions to these societal problems.