"D.C. is the only (US) jurisdiction that has neighborhoods where 40 percent of residents live below the poverty line." Washington DC also has the highest median income in the US.
11/3/11, "City limiting funding for welfare recipients," Liz Farmer, Washington Examiner
"In a city where nearly half of residents receive some type of government handout, District officials are working to find ways to get residents off welfare assistance.
More than 232,000 D.C. residents — 40 percent of the city’s population — receive either food stamps, Medicaid assistance, welfare checks or some combination of the three, according to Department of Human Services Director David Berns.
Spurred by needed cuts in the city budget, D.C. has begun enforcing a cutoff date for welfare check recipients while revamping how the DHS serves those families in the transition.
About 8 percent of those residents receive welfare checks from a federal program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF.
- But their eligibility only lasts five years.
The cutoff for TANF federal funding was put in place in 1996.
But jurisdictions, including D.C., were slow to enforce that and often found supplemental funding through grants or other programs.
Berns said the city is now spending several million dollars annually to keep paying benefits to
- individuals who ran out the clock on federal assistance.
But his idea has its detractors. “It looks good on paper but in reality it’s not going to happen — there are no jobs for college graduates, no jobs for high school graduates, no jobs for seniors,” said Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Sandra Seegars, aWard 8 council candidate. “So there’s no way this group jumps up ahead of them.”
The recession also has deepened that problem. According to a Brookings Institution report released Thursday, D.C. is the only jurisdiction that has neighborhoods where 40 percent of residents live below the poverty line of $22,350 income for a family of four.
The District’s poverty rate is 19 percent. Its neighbors, Maryland and Virginia, have rates of 10 and 11 percent, respectively....
The first 20 percent cut in monthly income began in April. Another 25 percent cut is planned for next October.
“We will have to make a choice in the future to end this program for some people,” Evans said. “So we have to be prepared for that reality. And there are seven members on this council who
- will never vote to end.”"
10/27/11, "Washington and the 1%," The Economist