Economic Troubles for Low-Income Families ... and the Services They Depend On

This piece from <em>Color Lines</em> looks at how the economic downturn is affecting low-income populations, and how social services are having trouble keeping up with an increasing demand for help.
May 18, 2009, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"With foreclosures and job losses dragging down the whole economy, low-income families of color are plunging into an even deeper hole. While the mortgage meltdown has devastated Black and Latino homeowners, some of the hardest-hit foreclosure victims did not even own the homes they lost. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, about 20 percent of properties facing foreclosure in 2008 were rentals, and rental foreclosures are especially prevalent in poor communities and communities of color. In many states, the situation is complicated by a lack of legal protections for tenants against sudden eviction."

"...As displaced families struggle against poverty and a shortage of affordable housing, social service systems-a patchwork of local charities and government agencies-grapple with deep budget cuts. Resources for families are especially sparse in the shelter system, where many programs are designed for single adults. Though the federal stimulus package has boosted funds to address homelessness, including $70 million for educational assistance for homeless youth and $1.5 billion for Housing and Urban Development's Emergency Shelter program, need has far outstripped local resources."

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