In Sonoma County, the picture is just as bleak. Median renter wages saw a decline of six percent from 2000 to 2015, when adjusted for inflation, according to the California Housing Partnership. In the same period, the county’s median rent increased 16 percent.
On Craigslist, Sonoma County two-bedrooms currently go for around $2,285 a month. For rent to occupy only 28% of someone’s income, a household would need to rake in around $97,929 annually – assuming two breadwinners, that’s $48,964 per person.
Latest Census reports have Sonoma County’s median household income at $64,240. That means that bank tellers, coaches, school counselors, and healthcare workers, who earn on average below $48,600, could find these fees extremely burdensome.