SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. - "To feel like you can't provide shelter for your kids is the biggest sense of parenting failure," says Brandi Dailey, of Loma Linda.
Sadly, it's a common feeling for many families who struggle to keep a roof over their heads. It’s especially true for single moms.
Dailey who founded the nonprofit, Thrive Single Moms, says housing costs in the Inland Empire have risen by 12% in one year alone.
"Housing costs is the majority of your income coming in every single month and you're scraping by usually two or three jobs just to keep housing over your head," says Dailey.
Inflation and migration are two reasons for the booming real estate market and the high rents in the Inland Empire.
Janelle Guerrero and Kai King are co-founders of Stronger Together Now.
They say, "You are seeing a huge strain on people who don't have money or have been hurting already for a while and it's building up."
Guerrero says she’s noticed some landlords have more than tripled rent prices in the last year.
"An apartment that is not really in a great area of Redlands, it used to go for $800 a month, we just noticed that it was up for $2,600 per month. The space hasn't changed. You know, it's like a two-bedroom apartment with barely any livable space," says Guerrero.
Rental costs vary widely from city to city in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
A two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Upland can run you $2,900 a month, $1,500 in San Bernardino, $2,500 in Rancho Cucamonga, $2,000 in Alta Loma and $2,600 a month in Chino Hills.
Guerrero and King say to make matters worse, many new residents to the region who commute daily to LA or OC are essentially using the IE only as a location to sleep and that in itself is harmful to the local communities.
King says, "If you're going to LA every day and you're spending your money there or you're spending your time there, you're not investing in the community that you live in."
Part of the problem is the lack of jobs in the Inland Empire. While there are a number of large warehouses throughout the area, residents say they don’t pay enough to support a family.
"They don't really present livable wages out here for the people that work. So they have to kind of go to Orange County, they have to go to LA to really make money," says King.
Dailey, Guerrero and King say the only real solution is for companies to invest in the region by providing good-paying jobs.
"I mean, why does it have to be along the coastline? If you have people who are here and able to work it would improve dramatically the sense of community," says Guerrero.
Dailey adds, "I think the solution is there. It’s just, do they want to help? Can they help?"
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