Urban renewal is evicting the poor from North American inner cities. More and more affordable inner city housing has been torn down to make way for new and unaffordable housing developments. Other housing stock that has survived from from an earlier heyday is being gutted and remodelled to recapture some of its former glory. Needless to say, this refurbished housing is also unaffordable to the city’s poor. With nowhere else to go, there is only one destination that offers at least a hope of commuting back into the city daily for all-important employment: the suburbs.
The poor are discovering that the American suburban dream of middle class fulfillment is a nightmare for those with limited resources. And the support they sorely needed in the inner city has for the most part been left behind there.
A recent report entitled Confronting Suburban Poverty in America noted that in three neighborhoods close to downtown Washington, D.C., non-profits had a combined budget of $9,996 per resident. In other D.C. suburbs, the figure was more than ten times less — $945. Meanwhile, the region’s biggest increases in poverty were in distant Virginia counties, such as Loudon County — the wealthiest county in America. (Try: Loudon County And The Rise Of ‘Please, In My Back Yard’)
Read more on this growing suburban crisis in The Washington Post: Poverty is moving to the suburbs. The war on poverty hasn’t followed.
And a recent six-part series of articles entitled Suburban Slide in Slate more extensively documents some of the poverty issues that are gripping America’s suburbs. Try: Suburbia: Unaffordable Downtown Housing Eats at the Heart of the American Dream