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'National Disgrace': Poverty Wages Make Affordable Housing a Myth for Low-Income Americans


#1

'National Disgrace': Poverty Wages Make Affordable Housing a Myth for Low-Income Americans

Julia Conley, staff writer

A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) shows that "affordable housing" is virtually nonexistent—and that in many states, even efforts to institute a minimum wage of $15 per hour would still leave many American workers struggling to find suitable housing that they could easily afford.


#2

Just for some perspective.

In the USA 1950 minimum wage was 75 cents per hour. Median monthly rent was 42$$ per Month. A worker put in 56 hours for shelter. In other words working a little over a week per month paid rent.


#3

And that’s for the median, no less. Now, it takes over 50% of monthly income for most 10$ or less workers to afford the bottom third end of that curve.

The rise of the “luxury apartment” ended any hope of expanding affordable housing for a nation with an exploding serf population. That’s also why apartment complexes in many areas have become nearly unlivable due to overcrowding in units of people.


#4

PBS did a show some years back about housing costs and homelessness.
If I remember correctly, they looked at Baltimore.
One of the clear factors was property tax. For many years is was worthwhile to property owners to have dirt cheap Single Room Occupancy properties, often referred to as SRO or flophouses. Not nice by most folks standards but a far cry from living on the street.
Looking at my own middle class home (that I literally built myself over a year and a half), the property tax alone requires an income of over $6000 a year to pay.

Back in the day, the Roger Miller song “King of the Road” had the lines “Ah, but, two hours of pushin’ broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room…”. This used to be the case.

“Urban renewal” wiped out many poor communities, particularly those home to people of color, and simply wiped that inexpensive housing off the face of the earth.


#5

Affordable housing seems to be in the center of a perfect storm of societal and policy trends related to the nature of our economy.

  1. Lack of wage growth making it more difficult to afford rent or mortgages.
  2. Financial services industry actions making it more difficult to acquire mortgages with decent rates.
  3. Companies with zero loyalty to employees means “careers” with a single company being replaced by “independent contractors” with no ties to a location so home-ownership becomes less desirable.
  4. Federal housing programs being severely cut making fewer of the poor eligible, coupled with a higher percent of income required as rent.
  5. Affluent workers preferring high end rental space over home ownership removes urban affordable housing.
  6. The cost of health care eating into the part of low-income budgets previously available for housing
  7. A political situation making the passage of counter measures nearly impossible.
    8 … (the list goes on and on)

#6

And so it will be until critical mass of the U.S. population demands an end to U.S. capitalistbimperialism and acts on that demand. Both the math and morality of ending empire are absolutely clear.


#7

I wanted to chime in hear, but the previous post said it in a nut shell. The people, and the government they have bought, are takers and won’t stop until they are forced to stop. It would be nice to see them wake up and change into honest Christian like human beings.
Sadly though, I think that they have to be forced to quit the class warfare that they have practiced long enough. G


#8

typo: “capitalist-imperialism” works here.


#9

The disgrace that American families cannot afford decent housing will not be helped by A**hole Ben Carson’s intention to raise rents on government-owned “affordable” housing. What a damned mess the Trump administration is making of what used to be the greatest country in the world. Is there even one person in White House with a heart of soul, or are they all zombies?


#10

Billionaires not zombies. They are bringing back eugenics with no shame - or was it here all along?