1. Desmond’s article focuses on discussing the affordable housing crisis in the United States. According to Desmond, the majority of low-income families in the United States spend well beyond half of their income on rent and utility which is significantly above the 30% share of income which is considered to be a normal amount to spend on housing. The key reasons behind the growing number of families who cannot afford housing are that the prices for rent and utilities have sky-rocketed in the recent years, the incomes of poor families have fallen or stayed the same, and the assistance from the government has not been able to make up for this difference.
Because of the difficulties associated with covering rent, all the poor families face the risk of eviction, but among them women-headed and especially black households are more likely to get evicted. Alarmingly, households with children also tend to be evicted more often meaning that children cannot necessarily shield families from losing a place to live. Being evicted may have significant negative consequences for the future of the person. Namely, being evicted has been linked to homelessness, long-term housing problems, poverty, difficulties securing a decent housing in the future, unemployment, and difficulties with mental health. Overall, the crisis of affordable housing deepens the existing poverty problem in the United States.
2. Although there are numerous concerns associated with offering federal support to low-income population in America, I believe that this is the right thing to do for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the government should assist poor families with securing the housing to give them a chance to focus on work and escape poverty, and thus, become tax-paying citizens. Secondly, because high rates of homelessness are likely to increase poverty, unemployment, and crime levels, the government should be interested in preventing all these effects from taking place by ensuring that everyone can afford a home.
- Desmond, M. (2015). Unaffordable America: Poverty, housing, and eviction.