Farm-rich Salinas exemplifies California’s housing struggles

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) — The city of Salinas exemplifies a housing crisis that’s plaguing California’s rural and urban areas alike.

Frustration over expensive housing is driving several measures on the ballot this November, including Proposition 10 allowing rent control to be expanded.

Salinas and six other California metro areas are among America’s top 10 least affordable places to live. That’s based on data from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies that looks at residents’ incomes compared to housing costs.

Families in the Salinas region earn a median income of $69,000, while home prices sit at nearly $550,000.

Salinas is known as the “Salad Bowl of the World” because it produces most of the world’s lettuce and is author John Steinbeck’s hometown.

It’s just inland from the tourism-rich Monterey Peninsula and an hour’s drive south of Silicon Valley.