Thursday, March 6, 2008

The AP covers housing slump's impact on people with disabilities

I'm glad to see some journalists are doing their job -- this is an excellent story angle on the impact of the U.S. housing crisis on people with disabilities. I don't know how many in the U.S. media ran the story, but the San Diego Tribune did on March 5.

The AP story by Sarah Karush explains: "The affordable housing shortage plaguing Washington and other metropolitan areas has come down particularly hard on the disabled, who have higher rates of poverty and lower rates of employment. At the same time, much of what is affordable is off-limits to them because it's not accessible. Housing advocates say the problem will only get worse, as the rate of disability increases with the aging population."

The article cites the dire statistics: "A 2006 report by two non-profits, the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, found that the average rent for a modest one-bedroom apartment was equal to 113 percent of the average income of a disabled person relying on the federal Supplemental Security Income program. That's up from 69 percent in 1998, when the biennial study was first published."

And the housing crisis affects all people with lower income, not just disabled people. "The Center for Housing Policy released a study earlier this year that examined 210 metropolitan areas," The AP reports. "It found that workers in two of the fastest growing job categories – retail salespeople and food preparation workers – would not be able to afford a two-bedroom apartment by the 30 percent standard in any of the areas."