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Poverty in Paradise By Patricia Hall T-TH 930 - 1100 October 10 2002 Santa Cruz We have the beach the Boardwalk breathtaking redwood forests and our own University Such luxuries seldom come without a price and we pay for it in housing The Santa Cruz housing market is one of the least affordable in the nation and since the rent increased by a whopping 30 last year its not surprising to find that low income workers are packing their bags because they cant pay their rent So what about the middle class They should be getting by just fine Thats what middle class is isnt it As it turns out median income households lack the income necessary for owning a house condo or even a mobile home People are evicted from their home everyday What we fail to realize is that these people are our firefighters teachers construction workers and bus drivers Even police officers are becoming a rare breed in this town because they move away once they learn they cannot afford to live here Businesses and services are now undergoing difficulty in hiring people who would usually hold these jobs horrifying because these positions are very important to the community Lower-income working Americans and those on fixed incomes are crowding into even smaller spaces than ever before According to the National Low Income Housing Coalitions Americas Growing Wage-Rent Disparity a person earning minimum wage 675 must slave away at their job for at least 145 hours a week to come home to a poorly maintained two-bedroom apartment What I dont understand is why such a wealthy beautiful presumably liberal town like Santa Cruz must insist on charging their inhabitants ridiculous prices for less than substantial homes My friend Kelli moved here over a year ago and has already been evicted from one residence She now lives on Ocean
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