The federal government should not bear all the blame for poor affordable housing funding

Mother Jones breaks down the newly released study by the Urban Institute which showed that in no county in the United States is there sufficient housing for extremely low-income families (those who earn thirty percent or less of the area median income, or AMI). The onus of this disparity is placed on the lack of federal housing assistance in growing urban centers, like Dallas, whose share of HUD money has not kept pace with the burgeoning population. 

I would like add another theory to address the large disparity between affordable and non-affordable housing: local laws and oversight. While it is true that the majority of housing money comes through Congress to HUD and then to local agencies, states and cities also have power to help their lower-income residents afford shelter. Without robust legislation to keep people housed, and to incentivize housing the homeless, incarcerated and disabled, the problems of an underhoused population will go unresolved. 

Additionally, programs that promote development and gentrification without any mention of how to transition the poor along with the wealthy into the cleaner, newer, economically thriving communities will only result in bifurcation and inequality. Cities and city officials need to focus more attention to creating wholistic urban environments, with equal attention in each neighborhood to people at all income levels. We cannot pass all the blame for income and housing inequality onto the federal government. These are local problems that reflect the unique composition of the cities, towns, and municipalities in which they are located and, therefore, they require more local solutions. 

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