Thursday, May 11, 2006

Really House-Poor

California, look at what your "progressive" NIMBYism has wrought:
California's high cost of housing has given the state one of the worst poverty rates in the nation, according to an independent study that was welcomed by critics who believe the government's method of counting the poor overlooks many people.

Thousands of Silicon Valley residents, for example, are living in poverty even though they earn more than the official federal standard, according to researchers at the non-profit Public Policy Institute of California, who calculated the numbers after adjusting for local housing costs.

The study confirms what social workers and the working poor have known for years:

``If you're poor here, you're really poor,'' said Candy Capograssi, deputy executive director of the Santa Clara County Housing Authority, which recently had more than 70,000 people submit applications for a housing subsidy waiting list.

Using the official federal standard, California has the 15th-highest poverty rate in the country, with 13.3 percent of its residents living below the poverty threshold.

But when Reed adjusted the formula to reflect the cost of housing, California's poverty rate rose to 16.1 percent. That gave it the third-highest ranking in the country, Reed said -- behind only Washington, D.C., and New York.


Blogger Rob Dawg said...

"Reed adjusted the formula to reflect the cost of housing, California's poverty rate rose to 16.1 percent."

Why not adjust for coastline or sunshine? California is "poor" because we subsidize poverty and punish productivity. Nothing more. These kinds of "adjusted" "studies" are conclusions in search of justification. 2.5 million illegals so completely distort these metrics that you can adjust any way you wish.

May 12, 2006, 6:58:00 AM  
Blogger Marinite said...

That's such BS. Yeah, it's the immigrants' fault. Sure.

May 12, 2006, 9:33:00 AM  
Blogger fredtobik said...

Well those poor people can't talk in Muir Woods now either.

Humans talking is unnatural btw, but nailing a sign to a redwood is ok. WTF are people thinking.. are they?

May 12, 2006, 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Angelo said...

I wouldn't say its immigrants, but it is an interesting argument. In my building in downtown Sunnyvale, there is a lady who works as a Janitor. She works at my building during the day, then she works a night job at a building on Great America Parkway. She pays rent to live in a room of a house. She has a 5 year old son. She picks him up at 2am everyday. Her only day off is Saturday. Her sister just came here from Mexico. She had her child here. Her boyfriend also came with her. Both are "illegal" To think that a substantial portion of those 70k people are possible immigrants is by no means a stretch. And if you ask any of them, they will say there is more opportunity here than at home.

May 12, 2006, 9:46:00 AM  
Blogger Marinite said...

And why shouldn't the cost of housing be part of the calculation of the poverty rate? People just don't want to deal with the fact that the system is broken and it is easier to blame others especially when you are personally profiting from this bad situation.

Read the report yourself (warning, PDF):

May 12, 2006, 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Rob Dawg said...

The reason the cost of housing shouldn't get excessive weight is because if we did California would look like the 3rd highest poverty rate location in the nation. You can't just "adjust" poverty calcualtions for one component. You can if you want to do the work and come up with alternative measures of poverty. In that case using housing costs, you'd need to account for dwelling unit occupancy and thus negate some of the high costs just like the Census and AHS.

May 12, 2006, 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger rejunkie said...

For example, the federal poverty level for a family of four in 2004 was $19,157. But the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated that fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment that year in Santa Clara County was $21,852. That means a family earning $20,000 was above the poverty level, yet potentially homeless.

Bulls*** alert. I "estimate" that the fair market rent for my townhouse is $2000 but the reality is I am only getting $1500. That rent they quote equates to $1821/month, a sum that would rent you a decent 3 bedroom townhouse in Marin, not just a two bedroom apartment in Santa Clara.

In fact a quick check of craigslist rentals for the south bay shows 668 listings for 2br's renting at or below $1821. In fact, many were half that amount.

I am not denying that rents are disproportionately expensive here, and that contributes to the poverty rate but this is junk journalism. What about the social programs here in CA that provide "soft" benefits that other, cheaper states, don't have?

May 14, 2006, 9:42:00 AM  

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