Policy Bits ~ 3 Things to Know & Watch This Week
April 11 –17, 2016 ~ Karly Malpiede Andrus


The Cost of Child Care is Wildly Expensive; in CO it Outpaces the Cost of CollegePolicy-Bits4-11-16

  • According to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute child care is widely unaffordable for a vast number of Americans, with Coloradoans ranked 7th in terms of paying the most. Per the US Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) child care is affordable if it costs no more that 10% of a family’s income, by this standard only 22.6% of Colorado families can afford infant care. http://goo.gl/1zaUYr
  • This study ties into work local partners are doing on the ground in middle income, low income and working poor communities. In fact, with a typical family spending 33% of their income on child care it leaves room for little else in the family budget and can push working families into poverty placing additional strain on taxpayer resources. Ironically all that money does not enrich child care workers, who would need to spend 57.3% of their earnings to send their own child to infant care.

National Low Income Housing Coalition Releases Their 2016 Advocates’ Guide

  • The 2016 Advocates Guide: An Educational Primer on Federal Programs and Resources Related to Affordable Housing and Community Development is an authoritative reference for advocates and affordable housing providers. It is a go-to resource for practitioners, advocates and policy makers for detailed descriptions of every federal housing and community development program. http://nlihc.org/library/guides
  • This report could be very helpful to local partners as one explores these issues and potential changes.

As Colorado Housing Stays Tight, Seniors are Increasingly Feeling the Squeeze

  • The Front Range’s booming economy is good news for many but it is creating rising rents and home prices that are squeezing out vulnerable populations, especially seniors who often live on a fixed income. Placing income qualified seniors in affordable housing is increasingly difficult because the housing simply does not exist causing the length of time seniors are homeless to double. Not all seniors opt for homeless shelters, as many have pets they often shelter in their cars or with family as long as possible. Not all seniors are low-income but once they stop working the benefits from Social Security and Medicare simply do not keep pace with the rapidly increasing cost of living and many middle class people find themselves quickly descending into economic peril.  http://goo.gl/JCJGHB
  • This tale from the field ties into work many partners are doing on the ground to keep complete communities. It also shows that the face of homelessness is really no longer just the returning veteran, in many cases it is families with small children, seniors and couples who simply have no options in the current shelter system, further complicating the issues around Denver’s homeless sweeps.