Housing Woes Worse in L.A. Than New York, San Francisco

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By Nadja Brandt and John Gittelsohn  Sep 3, 2014 9:47 AM PT

Jeanette Cross took out a payday loan to cover her May rent of $1,600 in South Los Angeles. She skipped car and insurance payments to keep a roof over her head.

“I’m further and further behind,” Cross, a 34-year-old single mother of four, said in a telephone interview. “I make a payment on one thing and don’t pay others.”

She isn’t alone. Angelenos use a bigger slice of their paychecks on shelter than people in New York, San Francisco or Miami, studies show. Surging property prices in the second-largest U.S. city are driving up costs in once-impoverished areas while pushing lower-income households into converted garages or to distant suburbs, where the tradeoff is hours stuck in traffic each day.

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