Editorial: Ben Carson’s HUD report on housing for the poor is an eye opener

With $2 million fixer-uppers and working people living in tents, the Bay Area tends to think of itself as the epicenter of the affordable housing crisis. Like it’s all about us.

The just-released “Worst Case Housing Needs: 2017 Report to Congress” by the Department of Housing and Urban Development is an eye opener, however.

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The number of very low income households paying more than half of their income for rent, living in substandard dwellings or both has increased 41 percent nationwide in the past 10 years and 66 percent since 2001.

The problem is more stark in the West, but nowhere is it easy to survive on a low or extremely low income. And while many of today’s new jobs are low-paid service jobs, there’s a dearth of middle income jobs that once enabled hard workers to escape poverty. That means the number of struggling Americans will continue to grow.

Very low income is defined as half, or less, of the average median income in a region. The housing plight is even worse for extremely low income households making 30 percent or less of median. When …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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