Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bad Housing

While the middle class is indeed suffering, the poor & almost poor are in deep trouble, as well. This is a class problem, in a "classless" society.

"'It's time to take a second look' at the nation's housing policies, said Ann Schnare, the center's chairwoman. 'Simply boosting the overall homeownership rate is an empty gesture, unless working families with children are fully participating.'

That message resonated in Wisconsin, where the median home resale price soared to $162,000 last year from $69,000 in 1990.

'We have lots of homes for upper income people, but the middle class is being squeezed by stagnant wages and the cost of homes rising so fast - 8 percent, 9 percent a year,' said Glen Lewinski, Waukesha County's community development coordinator. He is liaison for the Home Consortium, a four-county partnership that helps modest-income people find housing.

His group's mission is getting tougher. Government housing aid is available only to those at 80% or less of metro area income, which the federal government set at $53,750 for a family of four - a level that hasn't changed since 2003, Lewinski said."

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