News briefs. We’re all about affordable housing and minimum wages in several states this week. When it comes to affordable housing, middle class families are moving inland to places such as Oklahoma City, the New York Times reports. New York City banks are partnering with the city to infuse $350 million into a long-time affordable housing nonprofit lender that funds renovations, says the Wall Street Journal. A Jackson, Wyo., housing official and a consultant say the area needs a steady source of funding to solve its shortage of affordable housing for workers. A south Sacramento affordable housing project could include rooftops that double as farms. The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is offering free seminars to help residents navigate confusing affordable housing lotteries. Princeton officials want to see more affordable housing in the city to make it moreeconomically diverse, but the state is recommending against it due to space. On the flip side with minimum wages, there’s talk about the Minnesota minimum wage hike that starts this Friday and how Minnesotans feel about it. Then we learn that thousands of disabled workers in Pennsylvania earn less than minimum wage – as low as $2.40 an hour. Oakland nixes a proposal to gradually increase minimum wage. Minimum-wage activists think the recent decision against McDonald’s Corp regarding worker’s rights could be a good sign. And Bloomberg Businessweek explains how small businesses can prepare for minimum wage increases.
Politics. Rep. Paul Ryan’s poverty plan continues to draw coverage. The Brookings Institution notes that he doesn’t mention place much, and Philly.com points out there’s not much new in the proposal. Brookings highlights part of the plan that pull in Brookings ideas and scholarship, and the institution also talks about the Earned Income Tax Credit related to poverty. The Republican candidate for California governor, Neel Kashkari, a millionaire and former Goldman Sachs banker, spent a week living as a homeless person in Fresno to highlight the reality faced by the working poor in the nation’s most populous state. And First Lady Michelle Obama said the statistic that the U.S. has more than 58,000 homeless veterans is “a stain on the soul of this nation” at the 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness in D.C. and called for officials to end veteran homelessness.
A story “how-to.” There are plenty of ways to cover affordable housing in your community. Can you see the need? Use national and local data to back it up? Describe what the community is doing through a narrative approach? Think about your ideas as you read the Covering Poverty case studies under Housing. After that, check out the step-by-step tutorials related to Housing. Consider resources such as the USDA Economic Research Service, RealtyTrac to search foreclosures, Census Bureau to find poverty estimates and the CDC’s Health Housing Reference Manual to find data, nab documents and pull in facts before turning to local experts to talk.
Research and graphics. The Brookings Institute released a research brief about thegrowth and spread of concentrated poverty from 2000 to 2012. Those living at the poverty line is at record levels, and more of those residents live in suburbs. Based on this report, Time writes a story about the rise of suburban poverty, and the Washington Post talks about poverty consolidating in high-poverty areas. Business Insider expands this by highlighting the 15 cities where concentrated poverty is expanding fastest, with Boise, Colorado Springs and Raleigh topping the list.
Final thoughts. Ebola is taking the news by storm right now. I live in Atlanta, where two aid workers who contracted the disease while working in Liberia are being treated at a containment unit in the Emory University Hospital. I was hired today to write daily online coverage and a magazine feature for WIRED. We know how disease and infectious disease in particular can affect the poor and disadvantaged. Let’s see if I can bring some important stories to the table. If you have any connections to this story and are willing to chat, please email me at any time.
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