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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Month: March 2019

March 25 – 29, 2019

At least 10,233 people are homeless, the most since 1991.


Minneapolis is launching its most aggressive effort yet to help homeless students succeed in school at a time when homelessness in Minnesota is at a record high.


Low-income households can wait more than 10 years for a voucher that subsidizes rental payments to private landlords. But in a drum-tight Southern California housing market, those lucky enough to get a voucher increasingly can’t find a landlord willing to take it.


Housing in a quarter of rural counties has gotten a lot less affordable.


An analysis shows the Detroit mortgage remains anemic at best, and, at worst, nonexistent in large parts of the city, and is a drag on recovery.


The wage gap among races in Fresno County, California, got smaller from 2007 to 2017. But a new analysis by the Brookings Institution shows that wasn’t enough to keep poverty from rising due to a sluggish economy.



The public comment period for the Trump administration’s proposal ends next week. Researchers say “hunger will likely increase” if it takes effect.


Proposed changes in immigration rules by the Trump administration are “creating all kinds of fear that immigrants are being targeted.”


The federal government provided additional food stamp aid to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017, but Congress missed the deadline for reauthorization in March. Federal lawmakers have also been stalled by the Trump administration, which has derided the extra aid as unnecessary.


For the first time, states are using waivers to curtail coverage.


As states like Wisconsin get ready for Medicaid work requirements there’s concern over how many could lose health coverage and what an increase in those without insurance could mean for hospitals.


Marianna provides an early reality check on how hard it is to carry out President Trump’s vision of a social safety net that requires most able-bodied people to work – or try to work – when few jobs are to be found.


The ruling is a blow to the Trump administration, which has approved work requirements in seven other states and is reviewing applications from eight others.


The Trump administration’s plan to force some Medicaid recipients to work to maintain benefits took another hit Wednesday when a U.S. district judge blocked such work rules in Kentucky and Arkansas.


March 18 – 22, 2019

Federal regulators Friday approved Ohio’s request to require thousands of Medicaid recipients to work, attend classes or train for a job to qualify



After Medicaid expansion, the number of colon cancer screenings in Kentucky went up. And because early stage cancers were caught, the risk of death went down, according to a new study from the University of Kentucky.


About 60 percent of the approximately 70,000 Missourians purged from the state’s Medicaid program in 2018 lost coverage because they failed to reply to a


The Orlando metropolitan area is now the worst in the country for its shortage of rental housing for extremely low income residents, a new report finds. The region now has 13 affordable and available units for every 100 households that need one.


As far as availability, Houston had the lowest per-capita rate of available affordable units.


Harvard and Stanford researchers say disadvantaged students are still three to four years behind their affluent peers.


More than 85,000 high school graduates have received the tuition scholarship since its inception in 1992.


Indiana school districts are sounding the alarm on projections that call for big cuts in state money that is based on rates of students in poverty.


A recent report trumpeted an alarming statistic; Montana has seen its homeless more than double among rural students in a four year period.


A year ago, Los Angeles City Council members promised to support 222 units of new housing for homeless people in each of their districts. So far, the reality has been uneven, with projects disproportionately concentrated near downtown and poorer parts of L.A., perpetuating a longstanding pattern.


Michigan is considering whether to scrap or salvage a problem-plagued child welfare computer system that has cost the state $231M since 2011.


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the measure, which would place conditions on the re-enfranchisement of millions, a “poll tax.”


March 11 – 15, 2019

The Trump administration is proposing a sharp slowdown in Medicaid spending that would shift more than $1 trillion over 10 years by steering the entitlement


When he first ran for president, Donald Trump blasted the Obama administration for hurting senior citizens by slashing billions from Medicare.


The secretary of health and human services endured hours of bipartisan grilling over the president’s budget for 2020, including cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and health research.


The federal government spends billions of dollars each year helping communities rebuild after disasters and to prevent future damage. But that money isn’t always allocated to those who need it most.


Chicagoans in mostly black neighborhoods are still more likely to live far from trauma centers than those in white neighborhoods — though the gap has shrunk dramatically since University of Chicago Medicine opened its trauma center last year, according to a new study.


Starting April 1, Philadelphia will get its own day-work program, with a few unique twists.


“SNAP is an anti-hunger program — full stop,” one expert said. “It’s not supposed to encourage people to work. It’s supposed to end hunger in our country.”


A proposal that would make it harder to obtain work-rule exemptions — a move designed to encourage people to find jobs — has social service agencies worried that the poor would be hurt.


“It is dangerous,” said the head of a Puerto Rican nonprofit group that provides food to the homeless. “People don’t have enough money to buy food already.”


A number of schools have introduced laundry rooms to try to help low-income students make it to class. The goal is to “take the stigma out of getting help,” one principal said.


To unlock the benefits of going to college, you need to earn a degree. But average completion rates in the U.S. are surprisingly low and can vary widely depending on what type of school you attend.