Affordable homes are in short supply in both Texas and California, but we fare better than our friends on the West Coast, according to an analysis of 2015 data by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Texas has 51 affordable and available rental units for every 100 households that are making half of the area median income or less. That’s four units below the U.S. number. Meanwhile, California has 30 units for every 100 households in that income range.
When it comes to housing availability for the extremely poor, we still do better than California. Texas has 29 affordable and available rentals for every 100 families making 30 percent or less of the area median income. California has 21.
Numbers from real estate company Zillow show the gap in housing costs is clear to anyone shopping for an apartment. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the Sacramento area — California’s fifth-largest metropolitan area — costs about the same in Dallas-Fort Worth, the biggest urban center in Texas and one of its costliest housing markets.
But Dallas-Fort Worth’s median rent for a one-bedroom unit — $1,125 in January — is hundreds of dollars lower than that of nine metropolitan areas in California.
The jobs with the biggest net loss of California workers to other states were cashiers, cooks, truck drivers, material movers, retail sales reps and customer service reps, the Bee’s analysis found.
Even San Francisco, the state’s best employment market, is getting tens of applicants for cashier and restaurant jobs, the newspaper reported.
Those Californians could find many openings here, according to 2014-24 projections from the Texas Workforce Commission. All the occupations mentioned above are among a list of 25 predicted to add the most jobs over the decade.
Texas weathered the oil slump last year through employment gains in other industries, such as leisure and hospitality, where jobs grew 3.5 percent from 2015 to 2016. We added a total of 210,200 jobs over the course of the year.
Gaines, the economist, said moving to a place for a lower cost of living is no good if there are no jobs there.
“We also have a vibrant economy that offers employment opportunity to a lot of people up and down the spectrum,” he said, “from low income to high income, from low tech to high tech.”
California’s tech sector is also eyeing Texas with interest, Gaines said. Even in Silicon Valley, many people earn mid-level salaries and can’t afford California’s soaring cost of living, he said.
Among the fastest-growing occupations in Texas are web development and several in health services, according to the 2014-24 state projections. Web developer jobs are expected to grow by 37 percent over that decade.