High Cost of Housing Hurts Workers


Shelter is a necessity of life. But for too many everyday Americans, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cover the soaring costs of providing a home for themselves and their families.

For those in the San Francisco metropolitan area, for example, a million-dollar home is not some kind of luxury. Some 57 percent of homes there cost $1 million or above, the highest level in the country. That’s up from just 19.6 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, San Jose follows close behind, with 46 percent of homes there costing $1 million or more.

It may come as no surprise that California dominates the list, with Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and Ventura County all making the top 10. Other locales on the list include New York, Honolulu and Seattle.

But this is not just a big city issue. Affordable housing is increasingly a struggle throughout much the U.S., especially for younger adults without a college degree. While it is true that high student debt is hamstringing those with post-secondary degrees, low pay is hampering those without a college diploma even more.

An article at apartmentlist.com states, “Faced with rising rents and stagnant incomes, most are not saving enough. They also receive much less financial support from friends and family, and will need more than 15 years to save enough for a 20% down payment. Nearly all metros across the United States are unaffordable for millennials without a college degree.”

Unions have tried to improve the situation. Five New York City union pension systems last year announced it was investing some $150 million in projects to erect 20,000 units of affordable housing in the Big Apple. But that’s not nearly enough to address the situation.

Ultimately, better pay is what is going to improve workers’ lives. And that’s what union jobs bring to their members, who on average make $10,000 a year more than non-union workers. That’s real Teamster Power!

That’s why more hard-working Americans need to stand up for their rights and join a union.