ERIC Number: ED310304
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-27
Macroeconomic Causes of Family Homelessness.
McChesney, Kay Young
The welfare of American families improved steadily for over 20 years after World War II. After the War on Poverty of the 1960s, the number of people living in poverty fell, reaching its lowest point in 1973. During the 1980s, homeless families, including those living in the streets, in cars, and in shelters seemingly appeared out of nowhere. As stories about them began to appear in the news media, citizens were shocked and wondered why there were homeless families. The answer is now obvious. Given the rapid increase in poverty among families between 1979 and 1983, continuing high levels of family poverty, and the continuing decrease in the availability of housing poor families can afford, family homelessness was inevitable. The private sector, responsive by definition only to the profit motive, cannot produce housing at a low-enough cost to be affordable to low-income families. If real changes in poverty policy and housing policy are made, accompanied by increases in spending, there could be a decrease in the total number of homeless families. Unless that happens, family homelessness, with all its attendant trauma and long-term consequences to children and parents alike, is here to stay. (ABL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).