The plight of the renter: A full-time worker making the federal minimum wage can only afford a one-bedroom apartment in 12 U.S. counties, and nowhere in the U.S. is a two-bedroom rental affordable, according to the annual report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The Washington Post reports:
The picture is not expected to improve in the near future as the rental market remains strong and vacancy rates decline. A record 43.3 million households were renters in 2016, a 27 percent increase since 2006, the report said.
Household income, meanwhile, has not kept up with the pace of rent increases. Between the 2007 housing crisis and 2015, the average rent in the U.S. rose by 6 percent, after adjusting for inflation, while the average household income declined by 4 percent, according to the report, which analyzed Census Bureau data.
Chopping block: HUD chief Ben Carson is defending Trump’s plan to axe the Community Development Block Grants program, which has pumped billions into city governments since the 1970s. Carson heard bipartisan support for the program from lawmakers in Congress this week, but argued for fiscal constraint. (Detroit Free Press)
• See also: Slate urges city leaders to give up waiting on Trump’s vague infrastructure plan and turn to municipal bonds.
St. Louis pre-games: The heavily Democratic city is attempting to pre-empt the state of Missouri’s move toward anti-abortion measures with a new ordinance that bans employers from discriminating against women based on their reproductive choices, including abortion and contraception. (AP)
Campus life: Wired attacks the new Apple headquarters in Cupertino as a “retrograde, literally inward-looking building with contempt for the city where it lives and cities in general,” while the San Francisco Chronicle urges Google to consider the Bay Area’s housing crisis with its new San Jose campus.
Goodbye highway: As Akron, Ohio dismantles its downtown freeway, people are proposing ideas for reuse, including an “innerbelt forest” and mountain bike park. (Streetsblog)
The urban lens:
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