Why are middle-class families leaving San Luis Obispo County?

October 9, 2018

Jason Anderson


As a small business owner, I have experienced firsthand how difficult it is to run a business on the Central Coast. But the cost of running a business here is only part of the problem. The other problem is how incredibly expensive it is to live in the Central Coast where few good-paying jobs exist.

Middle class families are leaving San Luis Obispo County at one of the highest rates in the country. The high cost of living, lack of affordable housing, and few good-paying jobs make it hard for families to stay.

Major employers like Weatherby, Really Right Stuff, and Lockheed Martin are moving out of the County because it is too expensive to operate here. We cannot afford to force more companies out of business – and lose more good paying jobs.

As a parent, I want my kids to want to come home after college. As a business owner, I need my customers to stay here.

The County needs to retain and increase good-paying jobs so that the beautiful place we live, once again, becomes a place of opportunities and hope.


Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
George Bailey


I agree with Mr. Jason Anderson!

The whacky SLO Progressives have fought to raise taxes, decrease jobs and squeeze the working families out of the Central Coast, and we must stop electing these morons to public office.

On Election Day, DO NOT support these radical, far-left extremists:

NO on Caren Ray

NO on Jimmy Paulding.

NO on Heidi Harmon

NO on Carlyn Christianson

NO on Nick Andre

NO on Adam Hill

NO on Erik Howell

NO on Aaron Gomez

Yes on Jim Hill

Yes on Keith Gurnee

Yes on James Lopes

Yes on Jordan Cunningham

Yes on Prop. 6

No on Measure G

Be sure to vote on Election day, June 6th.



People of every financial stripe are leaving. There is a glut of housing available for sale and for rent in SLO city, with nearly half of those homes on the market for over $1 million. Elderly people are cashing out and leaving, maybe fed up with high crime, high taxes, and no hope for change.

Young families can barely afford rent much less supply $60,000 as a down payment on a $600K house (assuming they can find one). Add in property taxes, school bonds, water bills, insurance, and association fees ,and their mortgage can easily exceed $3000 a month. Add the state gas tax ($750+ per family of four per year forever), the state income tax, and high sales taxes, and it’s little wonder why people are leaving the state.

At some point the weather just becomes too expensive.

Jorge Estrada

So are those retirees with big pension checks. It’s getting hard to look at your neighbors when you are 55 and retired while your neighbors go to work at their private companies. It can be lonely on top so just travel, enjoy the good life, oh yes, and pay your taxes too.


Housing market is being bought by people moving from the San Franasico Bay area. In fact we were buying a house in Paso that was on the market for $650k and someone swooped in with $725k “cash” to secure buying it from under us. Was told they bought a house in the 80s in the bay for a couple of $100 thousand and sold it for 1.8 million. I don’t fault the buyer or seller, this is just what is happening. They sell high and come down here to retire. Which forces us that remain to rent or buy housing that the lesser qualified folks used be able to. For the most part forcing them down the pole to be homeless or renting small, over priced and crowded apartments.


This has been asked so many times but nothing will change with regard to affordability and you know that. The only young people who stay in slo are those few with high paying jobs or were handed down “old money”. Is it republican greed as some will say, maybe its “progressiveness”. I say plain old greed. I remember buying my first home in slo co in the late 90ies for under $120K. That $1100 mortgage seemed impossible to keep up and I had a good job. That same 2+2 home was recently sold for $425,000 and current interest rates are pretty close to what they were when I bought it. So either I now pay a $4K a month mortgage or put down $300K in today’s market? Yeah right. Maybe that winning lottery ticket is one 7/11 trip away. Add in $4K a year in prop tax, the highest sales tax and gas prices in the country, long commutes to work burning up a car every few years, is there really a legitimate question a to why people are running away from Ca and the CC in droves. Then we have the residents who extort providers of good jobs in the name of invalid safety concerns or environmentalism and then wonder whats happening to our community. The once miles of beautiful open land is now trashed with some 250 wine operations. Yep, that spells affordability of land and houing. SLO has become nothing more than a relocator’s paradise for those once living in LA or the bay area where prices are yet even higher than slo and cash deals are common place. Eventually it will self implode economically and socially and when it happens we’ll read about it in the news as we too saw the light and ran from the CC and Ca ourselves some time ago and never looked back. 


It’s a tough one.  One of the most desirable places to live in the US and investors and people retiring from more expensive parts of California willing to bid up home prices to live or invest here.  Young families trying to start a life are the casualties.  


Doing Business in San Luis Obispo County is like trying to race a sailboat while dragging a anchor, if your really good, you might do ok, but you’ll never win a race!!!

Lack of affordable housing creates a substantial amount of emotional pressure on working families in this area. Leaving the area for better or the same wages to a place with half the cost of housing would be quite a relief!!!

Back in the 80’s when this County became proponents of a slow growth policy towards building, this is what it looks like, we knew it then, we’re feeling it now, the cure, rampant growth, might be worse than the problem:(

We don’t have a lack of affordable housing problem, we have anti housing by planning department problem!!!

If you handed me a Magic Wand that allowed me to build safe housing without any zoning restrictions or government fees, there would no longer be a affordable housing problem!!!,


Just received my property tax bill today. Four school bonds, one dating back to 1997. Over $500 in school bonds per year. That’ll drive up your home costs and rent prices. I’m in the Lucia Mar School district.


Depending on where you live in the county it’s actually much higher than that. There is the basic school tax and then most districts have added an additional bond or two. Atascadero doubled up on their bond a couple of years ago. Then you have the Cuesta College Bond. Both of those bonds added almost an additional $600 to the tax bills in 1 year. Every year they keep asking for more and more. Along with the water situation you are also charged for using less. So, the cost of housing is really the fault of government and their appetite to keep and raise their benefits and salaries. Although while they are doing this they are taking more out of our pockets and causing the middle class to just keep going backwards as the private sector pay can in no way stay up with that of the government and their benefits. I have always wondered how retired folks on Social Security can keep up to this with the “raises” they get every year not only in pay put with their Medicare costs too. Put this all together and it’s the formula why so many are leaving California and sad to say it’s not going to get any better. A real example how gold can change to brown.


Do you really still have to ask?