Capitol Alert

Just half of Californians believe they can afford to live here, poll finds

Who can afford to live in California?

A newly released Quinnipiac University poll found that just slightly more than half, or 53 percent, of Californians believe they can afford to live in the Golden State.

Surveyors spoke to 1,125 California voters between July 10-15, with a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

Pollsters found that the perception of California as unaffordable was especially high among people 18 to 34, at 58 percent, and 35 to 49, at 53 percent.

By contrast, 58 percent of people 50 to 64 believe the state is affordable. Those 65 and older, at 68 percent, were most likely to say the state’s cost of living is reasonable.

Most Californians, 78 percent, believe the state has a housing crisis. That number includes both renters and homeowners.

A majority, 74 percent, also believes that the state must build more affordable housing for the homeless. However, 52 percent of Republicans believe the state has a role, compared to 90 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents.

Homelessness is a “very serious” problem for the Golden State, according to 82 percent of those surveyed, while less than a fifth of those polled, 17 percent, believed that the homeless are to blame for their situation.

A majority of those surveyed, 59 percent, said that the cost of housing is a major cause of homelessness. An even greater majority, 67 percent, believe the state is doing too little about it.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.