NATIONAL – SUBURBAN POVERTY MEETS HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATIONS

STRONGTOWNS.ORG:  SUBURBAN POVERTY MEETS HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATIONS
By Nathaniel M. Hood
August 16, 2016

What will happen to Homeowner’s Associations in an America with increasing suburban poverty? It will be messy.

The Atlantic went so far as to label suburbs as “the new American Poverty”:

But the suburbs of Atlanta no longer hold just the promise of good schools, clean streets, and whitewashed homes with manicured lawns proudly displaying American flags. They are increasingly home to the very poor, who find themselves stranded in suburbs without the kind of transit or assistance that they might once have found in cities’ urban cores.

The Brookings Institute estimates that since 2000, two-thirds of poverty increases have occurred in the suburbs and 56 percent of people in poverty now reside in a suburb. In places like Atlanta, that number grew by over 150 percent. In addition, most suburbs are ill-equipped to deal with these increases.

Poverty in the inner-city isn’t something we should strive for, but if you’re going to be poor anywhere, that might be a good place to do it. Advantages of urban life for the poor include access to transit, social services, and jobs. Poverty in most suburbs lacks all of these advantages.

We have no plans to deal with this. In fact, it isn’t even on our cultural radar. And it is likely that the far-reaches of suburbia are actually making people poor who might have otherwise have been middle class. We have no plan to deal with increasing suburban poverty and the dominate governing bodies of suburbia in many places – Homeowners Associations – are ill-prepared. Read more:

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