Saturday, July 31, 2021


Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.


Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Rising Rents Pushing Low-Wage Families Away from Opportunities


Wednesday, April 17, 2019   

AUSTIN, Texas – As more Texans have turned to renting in the decade following the housing crisis, rising rents are pushing low-income families away from safe neighborhoods and good schools, according to a new report from Apartment List.

To afford a median-cost two-bedroom apartment in Houston, said Christina Rosales, communications director for Texas Housers, you'd have to earn $20 an hour, and in Austin you'd have to earn $27 an hour.

"And in Lubbock it's $16 an hour," she said. "So, you can see it varies a lot, but none of this would be affordable to someone making minimum wage, which is more than 800,000 people who are renting in Texas."

Nearly half of U.S. renting households spend more than the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's recommended 30 percent of gross income on rent. Rosales said families are forced to pay a higher percentage of their income to keep their kids in decent schools, or move into neighborhoods with fewer services.

Texas cities ranked better than costly East and West Coast markets. Renters in California's Bay Area city of Fremont must earn a six-figure salary to afford a median-priced one-bedroom apartment.

Just one in four people who qualify for federal housing assistance, public housing or vouchers actually get help, Rosales said. Increasing investments in affordable housing is critical, she said, because the future of families depends on where they're living today. Rosales emphasized that home is where childhood happens, where kids get their first bite of birthday cake and where they learn to read with Mom.

"And if there's not a place for these kids to have that childhood, if it's simply a rickety roof over their head," she said, "we need to face the issue today so that kids have a decent foundation for tomorrow."

At the state level, Rosales said, lawmakers can help families by passing legislation to allow cities to enact inclusionary zoning, which would require developers to create affordable units. Under current law, she said, renters in Texas also lack basic rights and can be evicted for complaining about sewage or electrical problems.

get more stories like this via email

In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)


LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …

Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …

Social Issues

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- With many Virginians still experiencing pandemic-related unemployment, students at a state community college were able to get …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021