There are approximately 530 single resident (or room) occupancy (SRO) hotels in San Francisco. San Francisco has hundreds of SRO hotels that are home to more than 30,000 tenants or approximately 5% of the city, the majority of whom live in low-income neighborhoods such as the Tenderloin and Chinatown. As San Francisco’s cost of living continues to leap upwards and SROs get demolished or converted to condos, many housing activists worry about what will become of the vulnerable SRO population. Life has always been precarious for these residents and far from idyllic in even the best-managed buildings. Here are the stories of six people trying to survive in a city that’s increasingly out of reach. [more inside]
"If you want to be cosmopolitan, you’ll buy star anise, kimchi, and coconut oil. If you want to prevent cancer, buy collard greens, blueberries, and omega-3 eggs. If you want to eat food free of pesticides and high fructose corn syrup, buy organic meat, flour, and dairy. Compound all of these seemingly innocuous exercises in American Dreaming with diet fads like “clean” eating, Westernized veganism, or the paleo diet, and you’ll get a supermarket full of people staring at labels, searching the copy for proof of ideological and medical purity. I need to buy this if I want to be good, if I really want to take care of myself and my family. As it turns out, this moralistic way of framing choice is extremely profitable for food processors, restaurants, and produce retailers: we’ve been effectively held captive by our own consciences."(slBitchMagazine)
Protesters blocked a private Google shuttle in the Mission District of San Francisco today. "In the video, a Google employee who hopped off the bus shouts down Erin McElroy, a protester who also heads the eviction mapping project. 'How long have you lived in this city?' McElroy asked him. He shouted back 'Why don't you go to a city that can afford it? This is a city for the right people who can afford it. You can't afford it? You can leave. I'm sorry, get a better job.'" Concern over increases in cost of living in San Francisco are becoming more of a focal point for discussion, as seen in a recent NYT blog post, Dystopia by the Bay.
Home Truths: Domestic Workers in California (PDF). 2012's groundbreaking National Domestic Worker Survey was conducted in 14 cities; the sample analyzed in this report includes 631 domestic workers (nannies, caregivers, housecleaners) in four metropolitan areas in California: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. [more inside]
This Atlantic article about the EPI Family Budget Calculator tries to calculate the required income to live a comfortable yet modest lifestyle in various parts of the US.
"A quarter of U.S. households have a member with special needs. More than 8% of kids under 15 have a disability, and half of those are deemed severe. What we share in common with the parents of all those special-needs children is that our kids have almost nothing in common [...] "Saying you study autism is like saying you study the world of non-elephant animals." Special-needs parents do share one thing: the eviscerating cost of our children." Paying for a Special Needs Child. [more inside]
I explained that, for a variety of reasons — including feeding my boys the most nutritious food available, supporting local farmers, and reducing the carbon miles our food inflicted on the environment — I tried to buy our food locally and organically. She looked at me as if I’d just told her I believed in Santa Claus and, with a poorly disguised smirk, said, "Honey, those days are over."In 2009, Michelle Gienow came close to having to feed her family sustainable, organic, local, and ethically produced (SOLE) food on a food stamp budget. She documented her budget calculations in the pages of the City Paper, Baltimore's alternative weekly. This year Ms. Gienow's financial situation really did call for financial assistance — and she found that her calculations were too optimistic.
Everyone talks about the cost of living, but how does your city or town stack up? EarDex is a crowdsourced database that offers an unofficial guide to the cost of living in cities and towns and even includes estimated daily budgets for tourists and backpackers. [more inside]
How many hours per week does a person have to work in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment at minimum wage? Following a report (PDF) by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a rather striking infographic has been making the rounds (NYT) on the web. The bottom line: nowhere in the USA is it possible to afford a two-bedroom apartment on forty hours per week of minimum wage work.
Over the past three weeks, Israel has experienced what may perhaps be the largest, spontaneous / grass roots social protest of the secular middle class that it has witnessed in decades. Thousands of demonstrators in cities and towns throughout the country have been protesting cuts in government funding to health care and education, and massive, exorbitant rises in taxes and housing costs -- and demanding change. Tent cities have sprung up in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and in public gardens and parks throughout the country. And they may not be going anywhere: polls indicate Israeli support is "exceptionally high". [more inside]
The High Cost of Poverty : The Washington Post explores why the cost of living is proportionately higher in poor areas. Double Jeopardy: Why the Poor Pay More (pdf): a report on payday loans, the cost of homeownership, medical debt, and banking in poor communities.
Thinking of relocating in these troubled economic times? You might want to consider checking out Forbes' list of The Most Overpriced Cities in America. The Top 5: Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New York, and... Providence?
What it costs to live well in the United States. According to Forbes, living well for a family of four in New York City requires an annual income of $483,800, compared to $189,923 in Wichita, Kansas. Of course, living well, according to the methodology, involves a vacation home, a BMW 325i and a Lexus RX 330, weekends at the Ritz, and almost no savings, so you might want to skip one of these things if you are a few bucks shy. Also worth noting, the most expensive ZIP codes and houses in the United States (and the world). Are you living well?
How much is the cost of living in Tehran, Iran? Also look at some other vital statistics about the non-Arab country.
World-Wide Cost of Living Survey. Hong Kong has taken over as the world’s most expensive city, Moscow is in second place, followed by Tokyo. The least expensive city is Johannesburg.
Good reason to move. (Or not, as the case may be.) Lessee, if I make $45k per year and own a little house in Athens GA I'd have to make $67K in Atlanta, $89K in DC, $133K in SF, $150K in Manhattan. No wonder all my friends who did move to Manhattan are all stark, staring bonkers now.