Growing gap between rich and poor

A report came out from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, about the growing divide between the haves and have-nots. The income difference is the largest of any US city, with the those in the top 20% (aka those rich folks living in million dollar condos) making about 31 times as much money as those in the bottom 20% do. WaPo report (Note: invasive registration may be required)
This is painfully obvious to anyone who’s lived in the area. For younger people like me, finding a nice apartment in a decent area that you can afford is really difficult if you’re not loaded, at least if you don’t want roommates. Many people I work with (at a government agency) have two jobs: one that provides health insurance and one that helps pay for bills. Middle-class people are moving further away from the district in order to have a nice home: one of my co-workers bought a house a year or so ago, and she and her husband had to move far away from the city to get the kind of house she and her husband wanted and could afford. They commute nearly 2 hours one way to the city for their jobs. This trend is growing, with areas of Southern Maryland and Loudon County, VA, and other formerly rural areas becoming more developed.
And then there are those who can’t afford houses at all…

3 Comments so far

  1. Tiffany (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2004 @ 2:41 am

    No kidding. Don’t get me started on the slum I live in because it’s what I can afford.

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2004 @ 2:51 am

    There certainly is a premium being paid to live where Things are Happening, as is the case in DC, San Fran, NYC, Chicago, Atlanta.
    I am amazed at housing costs here. My first 2BR apartment in the slums of Alexandria ran $1040 in 2000. My next 2BR in North Arlington was $1260. My next 2BR was $1350 in Cherrydale. Now, my $1200 goes toward my mortgage in Fairlington.
    My sister, in Minneapolis, was paying rent on her 1BR apartment. For $500.
    Houses in the midwest can rent for that.
    The problem with cities is that there is only so much land. So much space. And after while, that gets expensive.

  3. Jenn Brasler (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2004 @ 4:25 am

    I just graduated from college and don’t have a full-time job yet, but I’ve been looking at apartments in and around the city for when I have to move out of my parents’ house. It’s not pretty. I’d assumed that the difference in income between the upper class and lower class in D.C. was pretty huge, but I didn’t realize just how huge it was.

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