More than 10 million homes across the country are in foreclosure, with California at the top of the list.
The problem is worsening as the state tries to get its finances back on track.
“I don’t think it will be a sustainable long-term state of affairs, given the level of our current debt,” California Governor Jerry Brown told reporters Friday.
“If we don’t get to a point where we can make some progress in the state, we’re going to have a very, very serious financial problem.”
The U.S. has lost more than 20 million homes since 2010, and more than 100,000 of those were foreclosed.
The crisis has resulted in widespread foreclosures and foreclosing in California, which has a population of 1.3 million.
That is up from 636,000 at the end of the financial crisis in 2008.
More than 5 million people are on public assistance, and the cost of living has soared, according to the American Community Survey.
“It’s very much like we’re in a depression right now,” said Jennifer Siegel, a policy analyst at the liberal Economic Policy Institute.
“We’re really looking at an economy that is in a recession, with very, really high unemployment.”
Siegel said California’s recession is also putting more pressure on the state’s schools, and is likely to have severe impacts on its future economy.
The state’s housing crisis has become so bad that the governor has proposed an increase in property taxes.
“Right now, we have about $2.3 billion in property tax increases and that’s not enough to pay for the schools and the state employees,” Brown said in a recent interview.
“So we have to think long and hard about what kind of a future we want to leave for our children and our grandchildren.”
The governor also announced a tax increase on new homes, which would likely increase the amount of money that goes to school districts and other government entities.
The tax increase would also likely result in the closure of many schools, including the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“The idea of a massive tax increase is just not realistic,” Siegel told NBC News.
“You can’t run a government and not have a revenue stream.”
The state has been under pressure to get back on its feet, especially after the state legislature approved $1.4 billion in tax increases, including $3 billion for school districts.
But Brown’s proposals have been met with opposition from some Democrats, who have said the governor’s plan would put schools in danger.
“There’s been no public discussion of the damage that this would do to public schools, because they’re already struggling to provide quality education,” said Assemblywoman Lois Kolkhorst, a Democrat who represents the district in Sacramento.
“A tax increase that would make California less competitive is not the solution to California’s fiscal crisis.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.