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All Californians — regardless of income, race, or zip code — deserve to feel secure in their ability to put food on the table and make their rent or mortgage payment. Yet high costs of living are straining the budgets of Californians with low incomes, who have long been struggling to make ends meet.

More than half of California households with incomes below $50,000 had difficulty paying for basic expenses such as food, housing, and medical costs in March and April. Black, Latinx, and other Californians of color were more likely to struggle with basic expenses, being more likely to have low incomes due to past racist policies and ongoing discrimination.

Californians with low incomes are hit hardest by the rising costs of necessities. Policymakers should make sure state efforts to give Californians relief prioritize meaningful assistance to these families and individuals, who have long been blocked from opportunities and have been hit hardest by the health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

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