Alliance Online News: Census Bureau Releases Poverty and Income Data


Newsletters | September 17, 2013

September 17, 2013    
    ISSUES  |  POLICY  |  SOLUTIONS  |  NEWS & EVENTS Forward Editor: Emanuel Cavallaro    
Spotlight On...
Census Bureau Releases Poverty and Income Data

The Census Bureau released a report today titled, "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012." This report presents national data on the current population and examines multi-year trends in income, poverty, and health insurance. Nationally, not much has changed from 2011 to 2012 with regard to income or poverty and neither has recovered to the levels seen in 2007 (before the recession):

  • Median household income in 2012 was $51,017, essentially no change from the 2011 median income of $51,100, but still 8.3 percent lower than 2007; and
  • The official poverty rate was 15.0 percent and there were 46.5 million people in poverty in 2012 with no significant change since 2011. However, the poverty rate was 2.5 percent higher than in 2007.

In some locations and for some populations, the picture has worsened. The number of people in poverty did increase among people over the age of 65 (from 3.6 million in 2011 to 3.9 million in 2012), people living in the South (from 18.2 million in 2011 to 19.1 million in 2012), and people living outside of metropolitan statistical areas (from 8 million in 2011 to 8.5 million in 2012).

There were also some signs of recovery:

  • The West experienced a 3.2 percent increase in real median income and 0.7 percent decrease in poverty rate from 15.8 percent in 2011 to 15.1 percent in 2012;
  • The number of men working full time, year round increased by 1 million between 2011 and 2012; and
  • Real median income increased 3.2 percent for households residing in principal cities.

Read the full report:


Hill Update

House Stalls Passage of Continuing Resolution
After Congress returned from recess last Monday, it was anticipated that they would quickly resume negotiations around fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding. Last Tuesday, September 10, House Appropriations Committee Chair Harold Rogers (R-KY) filed a continuing resolution (CR), a stopgap funding measure that would keep the government running beyond the end of the fiscal year on September 30. The CR filed would continue to fund the federal government at post-sequestration FY 2013 levels until December 15. The topline number for federal spending for a fiscal year with programs funded at these levels would be $986 billion, $19 billion above the $967 billion cap for FY 2014 under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), but $72 billion below the $1,058 billion pre-sequestration level Democrats are hoping for (which would eliminate sequestration). The topline number that is agreed upon for the CR will be important in determining leverage in the final FY 2014 negotiations.

House leadership introduced a plan last Tuesday, September 10, to use a legislative maneuver to connect the short-term CR with a vote on defunding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In this proposed plan, the CR could pass even if the measure to defund the ACA fails. However, many conservatives made it clear last week that they do not believe the plan does enough to cut spending, particularly to the ACA.

Senate leadership seeks a CR that ends prior to December 15 so that Members of Congress may have the opportunity to vote on repealing sequestration before final FY 2014 funding levels are determined. On Thursday, September 12, top House and Senate leaders met to discuss these fiscal issues. Yesterday, President Obama weighed in on these issues during a speech in which he strongly criticized the GOP for keeping the sequester in place as well as conservatives who hope to defund the ACA. This week, Congress is expected to move forward on agreeing to a CR.

House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Homeless Veterans Program
On Friday, September 13, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing to review the performance of the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program and the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program. Witnesses included Curtis L. Coy, deputy undersecretary of Veterans Affairs for economic opportunity at the Veterans Benefit Administration; Keith Kelly, assistant secretary of Labor at the Veterans Employment and Training Service; and Gerri Fiala, deputy assistant secretary of Labor at the Employment and Training Administration. The importance and success of the programs were emphasized throughout the hearing. Click here to read testimony or view a webcast of the hearing; click here to read a submission for the record from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Upcoming Webinar: Working with Early Childhood Programs

On Thursday, October 3, at 3 p.m. ET, the Alliance will host, "Working with Early Childhood Programs to Assist Homeless Children and Families," a webinar that will explore the relationship between housing and homeless service providers and early childhood development programs. Speakers will discuss how their organizations are working to close the bridge between children's services and the housing and homeless service community. Among the early childhood programs that will be discussed are Head Start/Early Head Start, Early Intervention (IDEA Part-C) services, and the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visitation Program.

New Alliance Briefs: Rapid Re-Housing in NYC, Child Welfare and Family Homelessness

The Impact of Rapid Re-Housing in New York City
The impact of rapid re-housing policy on the New York City homelessness assistance system has received a lot of attention. The Alliance recently published a brief that examines family homelessness in New York before, during, and after the implementation of several rapid re-housing programs between FY 2005 and 2011. The Alliance found that during that period:

  • The number of homeless families remained relatively steady despite other factors, such as the recession;
  • Families experienced homelessness for shorter periods of time; and
  • The rate of return to shelter for families that had been rapidly re-housed was low.

Read the full brief

The Role of Child Welfare Agencies in Improving Housing Stability for Families
The Alliance published a brief that examines strategies that child welfare agencies are adopting to address the housing needs of the families they serve. The brief covers the value of creating partnerships between child welfare agencies and housing and homeless service providers. These partnerships leverage the expertise and resources of the homeless service community to promote housing stability for child welfare-involved families and keep families together or reduce separations.

Read the full brief

Last Week on Ending Homelessness Today

Data Points: Housing First for Chronically Homeless Veterans
By Sam Batko

In this post we look at the two different approaches communities are using to implement the joint- Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program: the Housing First model, and the "housing ready" approach. According to a recent study, one of these approaches is performing significantly better that the other.

Check it out: A New Checklist for Retooling Transitional Housing
By Kay Moshier McDivitt

The Alliance has been receiving lot of calls from folks trying to figure out how to get started retooling their transitional housing programs. In this post, we introduce a Retooling Transitional Housing Checklist that we hope will answer some of these questions and will serve as a valuable resource during the retooling process.

Child Welfare Agencies Should Use Rapid Re-Housing
By Sharon McDonald

The important role child welfare agencies serve in protecting children and preserving families is more challenging when families lack housing. In this post, we introduce a new Alliance paper, "The Role of Child Welfare Agencies in Improving Housing Stability for Families," which examines steps that child welfare agencies can take to address the housing needs of the families they serve.

More on the blog

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, non profit organization dedicated to solving the problem of homelessness and preventing its continued growth.

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