If you think you’re seeing more and more RVs on the streets with people apparently living in them, you would be right. CBS News reports the number of people who live in their vehicles because they can’t find affordable housing is on the rise, even though the practice is illegal in many U.S. cities.
The number of people residing in campers and other vehicles surged 46 percent over the past year, a recent homeless census in Seattle found, and is also exploding in Los Angeles, Portland, and San Francisco, cities with expensive housing markets. Silicon Valley high-tech companies are finding that their young techs can’t afford the high property values and have taken to RV street living.
Challenges abound also for people who live in their cars without the amenities of RVs, not just from racking up parking tickets, but also to finding a safe place to park, sleep, use a restroom and shower.
A fair number of the “vehicular homeless” in Silicon Valley are employed but are unable to find affordable housing, as the Associated Press noted last year. Lines of RVs can be found near the headquarters of tech heavyweights such as Apple, Google and Hewlett-Packard. Nationwide, extremely low-income renters are facing a shortage of 7.2 million rental homes, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.