Covering poverty and housing– by Jorge H. Atiles
(Note: Some of the examples in this tutorial are based in Georgia, where this site was created. That said, virtually all of the advice is based on county-level data that is applicable to and available in every U.S. state.)
Why you should cover poverty and housing in your county:
- Housing answers a basic need required by everyone: shelter.
- Housing indicates economic growth or the lack of it. It also serves as an engine for employment and industrial development.
- In his book, One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All, Mark Rank writes that 60 percent of Americans will live below the poverty line at some point during their lives.
- Since the collapse of the housing market, home foreclosures have reached record rates. Foreclosure can move families into homelessness-increasing the impact of other housing deficits.
- Rising unemployment rates may increase the number of middle-class workers who slip into poverty.
- Low-quality housing affects children. Children born into poor homes become part of the cycle of poverty that needs to be broken.
- With the current depressed economy, more Americans try to pay off more debt and news reports carry information about the importance of credit in daily life. However, we also struggle with unanswered questions. How did things go wrong? How can we maintain-and expand-access to credit while protecting the consumer and preventing a disaster from reoccurring? Writers from academia and public service sectors write about these and other issues in Borrowing to Live: Consumer and Mortgage Credit Revisited, which is edited by Nicolas P. Retsinas and Eric S. Belsky. The authors dissect the current state of consumer and mortgage credit in the United States and help point the way out of the current impasse. The book may be ordered at the Brookings Institution bookstore.
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