The rising cost of housing is the biggest factor undermining residents’ satisfaction with life in Los Angeles County, according to the annual Quality of Life Index released Thursday by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the California Endowment.
The fourth annual survey found dissatisfaction with housing costs to be high among “struggling” residents, which includes mostly younger residents, those with household incomes of $60,000 or less per year, renters and people without a college degree.
The housing satisfaction rating of “struggling” residents was 37, compared to a 48 rating for “comfortable” residents who are mostly older homeowners with higher incomes and more education.
“Since the inception of the report, people have been concerned about their cost of housing, and their level of dissatisfaction just continues to get worse,” said Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin.
At a rating of 42, cost of living was the lowest-rated category, below education (49), transportation and traffic (50), the environment (56), jobs and the economy (59), public safety (60), race relations (68), neighborhood quality (68) and health care (69).
Residents were asked to rate their quality of life on a scale of 10 to 100 in the nine categories and 40 subcategories of the survey. The overall rating this year among all nine issues was 56, the same as 2018 but a decline from 59 in the first two years of the survey. Satisfaction with cost of living has declined by eight points since 2016.
“In Los Angeles County, the one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that we are paying too much money just to have a place to live,” Yaroslavsky said.