Housing News Roundup: May 20, 2015
Report: Full-Time Minimum Wage Not Enough for Housing Anywhere in U.S.
Affordable housing remains unattainable for many low-income workers, according to a new report on the growing gap between wages and housing costs. Out of Reach, by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), found that full-time workers at the local minimum wage earn too little to afford the fair market rent for a one-bedroom apartment throughout the U.S. To make a one-bedroom apartment affordable, workers would need to put in 125 hours a week at minimum wage in Hawaii and approximately 100 hours in Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. “Full-time minimum-wage workers are just unable to find modest affordable housing in their communities,” said NLIHC research director Megan Bolton.
Source: Affordable Housing Finance
L.A. Moves to Raise its Minimum Wage to $15
The Los Angeles City Council has approved raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 by 2020, with Mayor Eric Garcetti expected to sign the measure into law. “The minimum wage should not be a poverty wage in Los Angeles,” said Garcetti. More than 700,000 low-income workers — from dishwashers and janitors to gardeners and fast-food cashiers — would be affected under the law. California’s minimum wage is $9. Before voting in favor of the change, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell linked the move to Los Angeles’ lack of affordable housing; a wage of $30.92 an hour is needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment in the city. Councilman Mitchell Englander voted against a higher minimum wage, citing concerns about “creating a competitive disadvantage for our businesses with those in neighboring cities.”
Source: Orange County Register
New Affordable Housing Development Would Help S.F.’s Formerly Homeless
Affordable housing is coming to one of the most expensive areas of San Francisco. Paperwork has been filed on a $210 million, 584-unit development that will offer market-rate housing and subsidize units for people who are formerly homeless and make less than $15,000 annually. “The thing that makes San Francisco great is it’s a city where people of all walks of life get to live in close proximity to each other,” said Michael Cohen, co-founder and principal at Strada Investment Group. “The key to making it work is to have a well-designed, vibrant urban environment and to make sure the people who need services gets those services.”
Source: San Francisco Business Times
Solutions in Baltimore May Start with Youth
High levels of segregation in the Baltimore metro area have led to racial isolation and concentrated poverty in a region that is otherwise economically strong. Researchers at the Urban Institute recently highlighted two approaches to addressing racial disparities in health, educational, and economic outcomes in Baltimore City. Both include a focus on the needs of disadvantaged children and youth. The Housing Opportunities and Services Together (HOST) demonstration provides resources to children in public housing while simultaneously supporting their parents. Another suggests reevaluating policing models to ensure local youth, in particular, are not “over-policed for small offenses but abandoned by the police when it comes to the real crimes, like homicides and assaults.”
Visualizing Income Inequality in the U.S.
What does income inequality look like in the U.S.? You may be surprised. Following recent research that highlighted confusion over the nation’s income distribution, the Washington Post produced a visual quiz that asks users about the nation’s income distribution, child poverty, CEO vs. worker incomes and other measures of inequality.
Source: Washington Post