Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Census Reveals NYC Poverty Spike

According to new data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people living in poverty in New York City increased to 1.54 million people, even as there was a slight dip in the number of people in poverty nationwide. The New York City Coalition Against Hunger held a press conference yesterday afternoon to bring attention to these new statistics. The number of poor New Yorkers has increased by 151,000 since 2000 - in every borough except for Manhattan. About one in five city residents now live below the federal poverty line, which equals a family of three surviving on an income of $16,600 per year. Brooklyn, the borough with the most poor people, had an increase of 85,000 people in poverty from 2000 to 2006. While poverty rates soared, the number of people receiving public assistance dropped by 241,388.

The new data was released the same day New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a speech in Washington, DC, about his poverty initiative to increase Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) payments for single men. While advocates greatly laud the mayor's initiatives and his insistence that poverty can be solved and with government taking the lead, they still note that more can be done when there are 1.5 million city residents living in poverty.

The press conference was held at Child Development Support Corporation in Brooklyn with City Council member Letitia James, Bill de Blasio, Chair of the General Welfare Committee of the City Council, and Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.

It was covered by the NY Times, Daily News, Daily News Brooklyn, Daily News Boroughs, El Diario, WNBC4, the Metro, WNYC, Gothamist, NY1, News12, the Queens Chronicle, and the New York Press.

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