America's Affordable Housing Crisis

A recent article in the Washington Post calls for drastic action from local communities and politicians in Washington to address the growing lack of affordable housing.
August 28, 2006, 8am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Seventy years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that the Depression had left one-third of the American people 'ill-housed, ill-clothed and ill-nourished,' Americans are well-clothed and increasingly overnourished. But the scarcity of affordable housing is a deepening national crisis, and not just for inner-city families on welfare. The problem has climbed the income ladder and moved to the suburbs, where service workers cram their families into overcrowded apartments, college graduates have to crash with their parents, and firefighters, police officers and teachers can't afford to live in the communities they serve."

"Homeownership is near an all-time high, but the gap is growing between the Owns and the Own-Nots -- as well as the Owns and the Own-80-Miles-From-Works. One-third of Americans now spend at least 30 percent of their income on housing, the federal definition of an 'unaffordable' burden, and half the working poor spend at least 50 percent of their income on rent, a 'critical' burden. The real estate boom of the past decade has produced windfalls for Americans who owned before it began, but affordable housing is now a serious problem for more low- and moderate-income Americans than taxes, Social Security or gas prices."

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Published on Saturday, August 26, 2006 in The Washington Post
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