(Un)affordable housing: Ojai grapples with a housing stock that doesn’t match residents’ needs

Tiobe Barron, Ojai Valley News correspondent
Much has been said recently about a lack of affordable housing in Ojai, but what does it really mean to have an affordable housing crisis? What resources are available for those in need? And what role, if any, do vacation rentals play in this problem?
According to the 2010 United States Census, the city of Ojai has a population of approximately 7,500 people; of these, 11.5 percent, or about 863 people, live below the poverty line. The United States Department of Health and Human Services defined the 2011 poverty line as about $11,000 annual income for one person and about $22,000 for a family of four.
The per capita income for this area is $33,552, and the median home value is $566,000. Only about 50 percent of the population here are homeowners.

Local real estate agents are stuck turning away people seeking affordable homes to rent or buy, simply for lack of supply.

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