Housing News Roundup: April 9, 2015
L.A. Wants to Close Its Wide Income Gap
Los Angeles’ new sustainable growth plan places the problems of poverty and income inequality front and center. According to Matt Petersen, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Chief Sustainability Officer, the city needs to increase its supply of affordable housing, up the minimum wage, improve schools, facilitate urban farming and increase park access. Los Angeles has the ninth-highest income inequality out of the 50 largest U.S. cities.
Source: Next City
How the Poor Spend Money vs. How People Think They Do
The reality of living in poverty and the outsider’s impression of living in poverty can be miles apart, especially among people concerned about how government assistance is spent. States have passed or are discussing laws ranging from limits on what food can be purchased with food stamps to where assistance can be spent. However, much of the debate surrounding these laws is based on false assumptions. “In fact, the poor are much more savvy about how they spend their money because they have less of it… By definition, a much higher share of their income — often more than half of it — is eaten up by basic housing costs than is true for the better-off, leaving them less money for luxuries anyway.”
Source: Washington Post
Where Housing and Other Environmental Determinants Intersect with Health
The United States needs to focus on efforts such as housing subsidies and other determinants of health in order to improve the long-term health of its citizens, according to a new report which found that the country is being outspent on social supports by other industrialized countries. The report found that countries that invest more in housing subsidies, food assistance programs and employment programs also have higher birth weights, lower infant mortality rates and long life expectancies. “We have to go further and build partnerships that align other sectors — transportation, business, urban planning — all behind a culture of health.”
Source: Huffington Post
The Best Places to Rent in the U.S.
Rents are affordable in Peoria, according to a new analysis which found that only 17% of a 2015 median income is needed to rent a three-bedroom apartment in Tazewell County, Illinois. It’s even better in Delaware County, Ohio — home to the city of Columbus — where only 14% is needed. The report, which is based on rental and income data from the 100 most populated U.S. counties, illustrates that it is possible to find affordable rental properties without moving to more rural areas.
A Look at Children Living in Poverty in Minnesota
A new health care study paints a stark picture of life for many Minnesota children. In an analysis of children eligible for health insurance through government programs for low-income people, the state determined that approximately 420,000 youth were eligible for either Medicaid or MinnesotaCare in 2014. Approximately 40% of children were born to mothers insured by the programs, up 50% from just a decade ago. The report also determined that one-third of the children lived in an area of concentrated poverty and that 8% had experienced homelessness within the past five years. “It should help those working to close the educational achievement gap see that they should be more closely allied with those focused on improving family health, nutrition and housing,” according to the editorial board of the Star Tribune.
Source: Star Tribune