Region Forward Blog

The Morning Measure: Inclusiveness requires reducing education disparities housing costs

Nov 29, 2010


Building a more inclusive region is one of the primary goals of RF. We’ve blogged on multiple occasions about the need to reduce disparities in the region particularly in education to meet RF targets and to help more of the region’s residents share in metro Washington’s relative prosperity.

This region is home to some of the best schools in the country sometimes located a mile or so from some of the country’s most under-performing schools. A pair of articles ran in The Washington Post right before the Thanksgiving holiday that highlight the disparity among schools and schools systems in metro Washington and underscore the urgency in increasing capacity for educational achievement and setting strict targets to measure progress.

Also no big surprise here housing in metro Washington (one of the most expensive markets in the nation) is consuming a far larger percentage of households’ budgets than is sustainable – a recent Post article noted that in “almost every jurisdiction in the Washington area the share that lower- and middle-income residents dedicated to housing far exceeded the national average” with far too many committing more than 50% of their household income to housing. Reducing the combined costs of housing and transportation to no more than 45% of household income is a key target of RF. In a perpetually expensive area like metro Washington some outside-the-box thinking possibly including alternative housing patterns may be necessary to meet this target.

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