Alana Semuels

Alana Semuels

Alana Semuels is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was previously a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

The Uncertain Future of a Middle-Class Stronghold

As incomes fall across the nation, even better-off areas like Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, are faltering.

No Driver's License, No Job?

Conservative policymakers urge those in need to get work. But for those without driver’s licenses—who are by and large people of color—that’s not such an easy task.

The Graying of Rural America

As young people increasingly move to cities, what happens to the people and places they leave behind?

The Artist Loft: Affordable Housing for White People?

Does this type of tax-subsidized apartment perpetuate segregation?

Can Portland Avoid Repeating San Francisco's Mistakes?

The city is facing a housing crisis, but despite its progressive reputation, it’s done little to ensure affordability for longtime residents.

How Segregation Has Persisted in Little Rock

Nearly 60 years after the integration of Central High, the city’s schools are still divided by race.

Why Promising Students Struggle to Escape Poverty

Researchers tracked hundreds of students in Baltimore to find out what top achievers had that others didn’t.

The U.S. Cities Doubling Down on Highways

Physically expanding roads doesn't cure congestion. So why are places like Arkansas spending millions to do just that?

The U.S. Neighborhoods Without Water, Sewers, or Building Codes

Low-income residents bought cheap land outside of border cities decades ago. But the promised infrastructure never came.

A Tale of Two Water Systems

California’s population growth enables it to build top-of-the-line infrastructure—something that isn’t possible for Rust Belt cities.

Budget Woes in One of America's Wealthiest Cities

If San Jose can’t afford its basic public services, what city can?

The City Where the Poor Once Thrived

San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley, used to be one of the best places in the U.S. for kids to experience a Horatio Alger, rags-to-riches life. Is it still?

The Midwives of El Paso

For women at the border, where to give birth is a matter of enormous consequence. A birthing-center industry has flourished as a result.

El Paso's Uphill Battle Against Sprawl

In some Southwestern cities, the dream of increased walkability may have limits.

​What It's Like To Cross the Mexican-American Border, Every Day

Thousands of people in the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez region live a binational existence. It’s not easy.

Upheaval in the Factories of Juarez

Labor unrest is spreading through the factories on the border, where people say they deserve more than $6 a day.

How Permanent Supportive Housing Really Works

Programs like FUSE can help people who have cycled through jail and emergency rooms get off the streets for good.

A Home for Single Moms and Ex-Cons

In one Harlem apartment building, unlikely neighbors are building a community.

The Pervasive Fear of Affordable Housing in New Jersey

A March state-level Supreme Court ruling requires many municipalities to build hundreds of apartments. In some towns, opposition is getting nasty.

When Government Tells Poor People How to Live

Residents in some public-housing units in Worcester, Massachusetts, must now get a job or go back to school. If they don’t, they’ll be evicted.