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Category Archives: Housing

21.3 Percent of U.S. Population Participates in Government Assistance Programs Each Month

“Approximately 52.2 million (or 21.3 percent) people in the U.S. participated in major means-tested government assistance programs each month in 2012, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today. Participation rates were highest for Medicaid (15.3 percent) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program (13.4 percent). The average monthly participation rate in major means-tested programs increased from 18.6 percent in 2009 to 20.9 percent in 2011. However, from 2011 to 2012, there was no statistically significant change in the percentage of people who participated. From 2009 to 2012, the average monthly participation rates for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and SNAP increased, while the rate decreased for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/General Assistance. “Participation in government programs is dynamic,” said Shelley Irving, an analyst with the Census Bureau’s Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division. “The Survey of Income and Program Participation shows how individuals move in and out of government programs and how long they participate in them.” The largest share of participants (43.0 percent) in any of the public assistance programs stayed in the programs between 37 and 48 months. Additionally, 31.2 percent of people participated between one and 12 months between January 2009 and December 2012. The report, Dynamics of Economic Well-Being: Participation in Government Programs 2009–2012: Who Gets Assistance?, follows a sample of U.S. residents through the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Statistics are presented for the major means-tested programs by various demographic and socio-economic characteristics, and statistical comparisons are made to data collected from 2009 to 2012. A means test is a determination of whether an individual or family is eligible for government assistance, based on whether the individual or family has income and/or assets that fall below specified thresholds.”

Federal Reserve Board issues Report on Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households

“The Federal Reserve Board’s latest survey of the financial and economic conditions of American households – Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2014 – released Wednesday finds that individuals’ overall perceptions of financial well-being improved modestly between 2013 and 2014 but their optimism about future financial prospects increased significantly. The 2014 SurveyContinue Reading

Report – Millennial Childbearing and the Recession

Urban Institute – Millennial Childbearing and the Recession. Nan Marie Astone; Steven Martin; H. Elizabeth Peters. April 28, 2015 “This brief is part of an Urban Institute study of the Millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 1995, exploring its diversity, demographics, and policy implications. Between 2007 and 2012, birth rates among twenty-something women declinedContinue Reading

State of the World’s Mothers 2015

“In commemoration of Mother’s Day, Save the Children is publishing its 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers report with a special focus on our rapidly urbanizing world and the poorest mothers and children who must struggle to survive despite overall urban progress. Every day, 17,000 children die before reaching their fifth birthday. Increasingly, theseContinue Reading

A New Federal Guide to Infrastructure Planning and Design

“Today, the White House is convening the nation’s leading thinkers on infrastructure planning and design to highlight how projects like new roads and transit lines can be designed to foster economic opportunity and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change. To help communities seeking to expand their pipelines of well-designed projects, the Administration isContinue Reading

The State & Local Finance Initiative’s State Economic Monitor

“The State & Local Finance Initiative’s State Economic Monitor tracks and analyzes economic and fiscal trends at the state level. Its interactive graphics highlight particular differences across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in employment, wages, housing, and taxes. Each section is updated when new data are released. The US Bureau of LaborContinue Reading

A Report Card on Child Homelessness

America’s Youngest Outcasts – A Report Card on Child Homelessness, American Institute of Research, November 2014: “America’s Youngest Outcasts reports on child homelessness in the United States based on the most recent federal data that comprehensively counts homeless children, using more than 30 variables from over a dozen established data sets. A staggering 2.5 millionContinue Reading

Are You Looking to Buy a Home?

“Buying a home is one of the most exciting yet one of the most difficult financial decisions you will make. Understanding the costs of real estate settlement services, defining what affordable means to you, and finding the best mortgage are among the many aspects you’ll need to consider. This new toolkit (PDF) from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), offers aContinue Reading

Federal Reserve Board Beige Book – April 15, 2015

Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District: “Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicate that the economy continued to expand across most regions from mid-February through the end of March. Activity in the Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts grew at a moderate pace, while New York, Philadelphia,Continue Reading

The Impact of Tight Credit Standards on 2009-13 Lending

Urban Institute – The Impact of Tight Credit Standards on 2009-13 Lending. Laurie Goodman, Jun Zhu, Taz George. April 2015. “Tight credit standards curbed mortgage lending activity from 2009 to 2013. Based on our estimates, if the cautious standards of 2001 had been in place rather than the more severe standards that were in place over theseContinue Reading

Yahoo Mortgage Calculator

“The loan amount, the interest rate, and the term of the mortgage can have a dramatic effect on the total amount you will eventually pay for the property. Further, mortgage payments typically will include monthly allocations of property taxes, hazard insurance, and (if applicable) private mortgage insurance (PMI). Use our mortgage calculator to see theContinue Reading

Brookings report on highest household incomes in 50 largest US cities

Alan Berube and Natalie Holmes – Some cities are still more unequal than others—an update [See also City Inequality 2013 Appendix] “More than five years after the end of the Great Recession, and three years since the Occupy movement took on Wall Street, high and growing levels of income inequality continue to animate debates onContinue Reading