In the wake of its story yesterday about resistance to affordable housing in the suburbs, the Star Tribune rightly editorializes today for affordable housing that’s not concentrated in existing areas of poverty.
The Met Council reported recently that 13,000 people signed up for a lottery of 2,000 Section 8 slots in the first few hours, swelling to an eventual 36,000.
Two of its three observations aren’t very surprising — the need for housing overwhelms supply and the pricey suburbs don’t want it — but the third may get some attention: Marriage could help solve the problem.
Marriage and job training could do a lot to reduce the demand for affordable housing. According to the Met Council, 74 percent of applicants in the recent lottery were “single female heads of household.” Since the 1970s, two incomes have been the key to preserving middle-class lives for millions of American households. It’s not impolite to suggest that “domestic teamwork,” coupled with job training and two adequate paychecks, could reduce the daunting demand for affordable housing.
Seventy-six percent of single mothers say if they could do it all over again, they would have gotten out of a bad relationship sooner, a recent report on women in America reported.
Indeed, the Shriver Report suggested that things are a little more complicated that the Strib indicates.
Overwhelmingly they favor changes that will help balance work and family responsibilities. Eighty-seven percent of low-income women—and 96 percent of single moms—identify paid sick leave as something that would be very useful to their lives.
What’s more, the opinion of the general public is on their side: 73 percent of Americans said that in order to raise the incomes of working women and families, the government should ensure that women get equal pay for equal work. And 78 percent said the government should expand access to high-quality, affordable childcare for working families.
The typical American family isn’t what it used to be. Only a fifth of our families have a male breadwinner and a female homemaker. The solutions we need today are also different. We don’t need a new New Deal, because the New Deal was an all-government solution, and that’s not enough anymore. And my father’s War on Poverty isn’t enough anymore either.
Related: I’m a single mother by choice. One parent can be better than two. (Washington Post).