By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

Multifamily housing
Photo by by Larry D. Moore

California’s chronic housing shortage is not only an urban problem. As more residents flee the cities in search of affordable housing, rising housing prices and stagnant wages follow them.

In Butte County, California, the problem is made worse by the most damaging wildfire in the state’s history.

According to Peter Carr, Orland’s city manager, many who move to rural communities find that there are no affordable homes and that competition for the homes available has substantially increased since the Camp Fire that killed 80 people last year and caused hundreds more to lose their homes.

Butte County at one time offered cheaper housing for Sacramento employees, but with housing prices throughout the entire Sacramento Valley increasing, that may no longer be the case.

“It’s possible Chico will now become the city many must commute to from other communities, to continue to afford living in the valley,” notes Natalie Hanson in the Chico Enterprise-Record.

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