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Once Affordable East Palo Alto Joins Bay Area's Million Dollar Home Club

EAST PALO ALTO (KPIX 5) – Bay Area residents looking for a pocket of affordability in the red hot housing market used to be able to find one in East Palo Alto.

The town on the Peninsula was once a place where you didn't need tech money or even two incomes to live comfortably and raise a family.

It is not like that anymore.

"The longtime residents aren't able to enjoy the new community because we're being priced out and it hurts," said former East Palo Alto resident Melissa Allen

Allen says now she could never afford to buy a home in the community where she grew up.

According to Zillow, the average price of a home in seven more cities in the Bay Area -- including traditional blue-collar communities like East Palo Alto, Daly City, Broadmoor Village, Brisbane, Fairfax, Alameda and Newark -- has climbed above a million dollars.

"I mean if you're not making over $150,000 -- maybe more -- you're not going to get anything here; anything in the Bay Area period," said Allen.

According to the California Association of Realtors, the dream of owning a home has become increasingly unattainable for the average family. Less than one out every five people living in the Bay Area can afford to buy a home.

That's because you'd need a combined $220,000 household income to qualify for a loan. Those families would still be staring at a roughly $5,500 monthly mortgage payment.

"People really have to look at their finances and save every penny that they can wherever they can, said Santa Clara Association of Realtors President-Elect Gustavo Gonzalez. And what's happening is that people have lower down payments because housing is so expensive. And they're just doing their best to get into something."

But too often, that means leaving the area to find a place they can call their own.

"I want to move into a bigger space, but right now I'm kind of at a standstill," said Allen.

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