Wednesday, May 02, 2007

U.S Losing Its Middle Class Neighborhoods

While doing some research for the site I came across an article in the Washington Post from June 2006. It dealt with the decline of middle class neighborhoods throughout the nation. It reaffirmed what I had seen in my own neighborhood.
Middle-class neighborhoods, long regarded as incubators for the American dream, are losing ground in cities across the country, shrinking at more than twice the rate of the middle class itself.

In their place, poor and rich neighborhoods are both on the rise, as cities and suburbs have become increasingly segregated by income, according to a Brookings Institution study released Thursday. It found that as a share of all urban and suburban neighborhoods, middle-income neighborhoods in the nation's 100 largest metro areas have declined from 58 percent in 1970 to 41 percent in 2000.
With the loss of middle class neighborhoods comes the loss of good schools and loss of security. I have seen my own neighborhood at a crossroads with the south side of the neighborhood becoming more and more violent and the north side seeing huge price hikes that is pricing out the middle class. I would assume that this trend is everywhere. This forces people to spend more than they can actually afford to live in a good neighborhood. I am sure that is one of the reasons why saving for retirement is so poor in this country.

The sub prime mortgage disaster will force many people, who spent more than they could actually afford, back into the neighborhoods they so desperately wanted to leave. In the end, the market determines the price and with so many foreclosures and an unsustainably priced market a perfect storm is gathering for the housing market. Will this storm bring the prices down to an affordable level or will the middle class be even further weakened?

Read the rest of this article here.

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