More Americans classified low-income

    
 

Thursday, Dec 15 2011 6:01PM

According to the AP, 62 percent of low-income families spend more than one-third of their income on housing, underscoring the need for affordable housing assistance. Such aid may be especially important in rural communities, due to the lower volume of available housing.

According to the AP, 62 percent of low-income families spend more than one-third of their income on housing, underscoring the need for affordable housing assistance. Such aid may be especially important in rural communities, due to the lower volume of available housing.

The most recent data from the Census Bureau reveals that a record number of Americans are classified as low-income or in poverty.

The substantial number of disadvantaged Americans is due in part to pay cuts, job loss and forced reductions in work hours, which have cut down household incomes. These changes have driven middle-class family incomes below the low-income threshold of about $45,000 in many cases, The Associated Press reports.

As further evidence of the strain on households and programs designed to help them, 29 city mayors reportedly indicated that emergency food assistance programs in their cities did not reach more than a quarter of those in need, the AP states.

"Safety net programs such as food stamps and tax credits kept poverty from rising even higher in 2010, but for many low-income families with work-related and medical expenses, they are considered too 'rich' to qualify," said Sheldon Danziger, University of Michigan public policy professor.

He noted further cuts in such programs would likely contribute to a rising number of disadvantaged and near-disadvantaged families in the next few years.

The data also indicates inflation-adjusted average earnings for the bottom 20 percent of families have fallen more than $1,500 since 1979, while they remained steady for the next 20 percent.

According to the AP, 62 percent of low-income families spend more than one-third of their income on housing, underscoring the need for affordable housing assistance. Such aid may be especially important in rural communities, due to the lower volume of available housing.

For further reference, check out this source: ABC News

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