Poverty experts bewildered by the poor

A story in the Sunday Journal Gazette titled “Section 8 leaves poor unmoved: Efforts to scatter poverty meet unplanned hurdle” takes a look at where poorer people live, even when given the chance to move:

If people living in the projects were bedeviled by crime, deteriorating conditions, bad schools, few resources and urban blight, a voucher that would let them escape to neighborhoods with less crime and fewer problems might also help them escape poverty altogether. Those with vouchers would pay 30 percent of their income toward rent, the government would pay the rest.

“There was a general feeling that there was a contagion effect,” said Ron Haskins, a poverty expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. “The idea was to disperse low-income families.”

Thirty years later – despite the chance to live anywhere in the city — a map of where Section 8 vouchers are being used in Fort Wayne shows they are largely concentrated on the southeast side.

Poverty experts aside, people for the most part still like to live in the neighborhood in which they live. Read the story here, but you’ll have to get the print edition to see the map.

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