Housing is a launching pad to successful lives. High-quality housing in strong neighborhoods positions residents to capitalize on the opportunities before them. And investing in communities reaps benefits beyond the particular neighborhood in lower social, health, and economic costs city and region-wide.
The U.S. has 614,387 bridges, almost four in 10 of which are 50 years or older. 56,007 -- 9/1% -- of the nation's bridges were structurally deficient in 2016, and on average there were 188 million trips across a structurally deficient bridge each day... The most recent estimate puts the nation's backlog of bridge rehabilitation needs as $123 billion.
For those who are still working age, it's getting harder to pay the rent: According to a StreetEast survey, rents in the city rose twice as fast as wages between 2010 and 2017. The lowest rents (those up to $2,300) rose 4.9 percent annually since 2010, which means someone who paid $1,500 a month in 2010 likely paid nearly $600 more for the same place in 2017.
The famous economist, Amartya Sen, asserted, "No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy." This leaves us to consider the options, among others: does his assertion only apply to food? is the US not in a housing famine? is the US not a functioning democracy? I think these are important questions to answer. In the meantime, the compilation of a national report card on housing for all should be an assignment given to some group -- how do we rate? How can we begin to assert that housing is an essential part national infrastructure?