mellowtigger: (Terry 2010)
[personal profile] mellowtigger
Princess Bride definitionI see phrases like "low-income", "minimum wage", and "affordable housing", but they don't mean in practice what I think they should mean. Instead, it seems that politicians have twisted the terminology into something that mocks their expected meaning.

Spirit On Lake is a new 4-story apartment building under construction in Minneapolis. The project is a result of efforts by "GLBT Generations" and "Living Table United Church of Christ" to provide affordable housing for the aging GLBT community. Quatrefoil Library will be moving into the building too. It's a really nice idea!

The building will be wheelchair-accessible (which I worry about since I've been on crutches for many weeks), will allow my 2 cats, disallows smoking, and is only 1 block from the major bicycle highway in Minneapolis called the Greenway. I wish I could live there. I would seem to meet all of their criteria, such as:

"Because Spirit on Lake has received federal and state funding as an affordable housing development,
residents must meet income requirements. Maximum income levels depend on household size:
" where 1 occupant may have a maximum income of only $28,850.

The problem, though, comes in what they consider low-income and affordable. Their brochure says "Future rent levels will be determined annually based on area rent limits set by HUD." Yet their rent is currently set at $720/month for a 1-bedroom room.

I ran some numbers based on a full-time but minimum-wage job, USDA cost of food, and utility estimates. It's not pretty.

Calculation Description AnnualTotal RemainingAnnual RemainingMonthly
7.25 * 40 * 52 income $15,080.00 $15,080.00 $1,256.67
15080 * 0.15 income taxes 15% (USA+MN) $2,262.00 $12,818.00 $1,068.17
720 * 12 rent $8,640.00 $4,178.00 $348.17
295.50 * 12 food (“moderate-cost plan”) $3,546.00 $632.00 $52.67
60 * 12 utilities (heating, a/c, electric) $720.00 -$88.00 -$7.33
45 * 12 internet $540.00 -$628.00 -$52.33
40 * 12 car insurance $480.00 -$1,108.00 -$92.33
65 * 12 car gasoline $780.00 -$1,888.00 -$157.33
77 * 12 subsidized health insurance $924.00 -$2,812.00 -$234.33
100 phone $100.00 -$2,912.00 -$242.67
? car repairs ? -$$$.$$ -$$$.$$
? doctor visits ? -$$$.$$ -$$$.$$
? entertainment ? -$$$.$$ -$$$.$$
? education ? -$$$.$$ -$$$.$$
? savings ? -$$$.$$ -$$$.$$

My own income is better than minimum wage, but the calculations still work out badly. Basically, nothing can ever, ever go wrong or else I'm left choosing between car repairs and food for the year.

Calculation Description AnnualTotal RemainingAnnual RemainingMonthly
19571 income $19,571.00 $19,571.00 $1,630.92
19571 * 0.15 income taxes 15% (USA+MN) $2,935.65 $16,635.35 $1,386.28
720 * 12 rent $8,640.00 $7,995.35 $666.28
295.50 * 12 food (“moderate-cost plan”) $3,546.00 $4,449.35 $370.78
60 * 12 utilities (heating, a/c, electric) $720.00 $3,729.35 $310.78
45 * 12 internet $540.00 $3,189.35 $265.78
40 * 12 car insurance $480.00 $2,709.35 $225.78
65 * 12 car gasoline $780.00 $1,929.35 $160.78
77 * 12 subsidized health insurance $924.00 $1,005.35 $83.78
100 phone $100.00 $905.35 $75.45
? car repairs ? -$$$.$$ -$$$.$$
? doctor visits ? -$$$.$$ -$$$.$$
? entertainment ? -$$$.$$ -$$$.$$
? education ? -$$$.$$ -$$$.$$
? savings ? -$$$.$$ -$$$.$$

Obviously, "minimum wage" has nothing to do with a livable wage for one person, and "low income housing" has nothing to do with affordability.

I'm disappointed that I'm too poor even for housing meant for poor people.

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