Friday, July 10, 2015

Affordable Housing For All Just Not Possible In A Capitalist System

Stagnant wages, ballooning rental costs and the shrinking supply of affordable housing are heaping an ever-growing burden on low-income families. "Out of Reach," a new study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, found minimum-wage workers can no longer afford an average one-bedroom apartment in any state in America. Since 2009, the federal baseline wage has remained stagnant, but rents have jumped 15.2 percent.

Nationally, a renter needs to make $15.50 per hour to afford a one-bedroom unit and $19.35 for two bedrooms. In the South, where most states' minimum wage is the federally mandated $7.25 an hour, that lopsided equation is forcing difficult budget decisions. Many families must share space with other renters in crowded homes, seek substandard, below-market housing or turn to shelters. Some breadwinners take on second jobs or cut back on other necessities like food, healthcare and clothing to spend more than the recommended 30 percent of income on housing. In West Virginia and Kentucky, for example, 70 percent of residents considered extremely low-income (less than $20,357 a year) pay more than half that income in rent. In Georgia, a minimum-wage worker would need to work 87 hours per week – more than two full-time jobs – to rent a two-bedroom home.

For low-income families, homeownership is just as elusive as affordable rentals. According to a recent analysis from RealtyTrac, home price appreciation has outpaced wage growth by a 13-to-1 ratio over the past two years. Smaller cities and rural areas grapple with lack of access to capital. That's where organizations like North Carolina-based Self Help Credit Union come in. "If your goal is to create middle-class opportunities by owning a home, and you can't have a down payment if you have no cash for a down payment, it becomes self-fulfilling," says CEO Martin Eakes. "We can't really solve the housing problem … if families on the bottom 40 percent or 50 percent simply do not have enough income, even if they're working 50- and 60-hour jobs, to be able to survive."

from here

There you have it once again - the facts are out there - there is no way within the this system that everyone, whether families or singles, can afford a place to live.
Isn't it long past the time we should have ditched this system for socialism, a system which guarantees free housing for all, to all according to need, from all according to ability? Of course it's possible, we only have to get on with it, together.


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