Monthly Archives: January 2017

United Ways Release 2016 ALICE® Multi-State Comparison of Financial Hardship

January 19, 2017

In 2016, United Ways in Connecticut, released their 2nd state-specific ALICE Report. ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) is a household with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below a basic cost-of-living Household Survival Budget. A new ALICE Multi-State Comparison, compares data across 13 states: Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin, and analyzes trends effecting ALICE across the nation.

ALICE lives and works in every town and city in Connecticut. The recently released ALICE Multi-State Comparison, reports that of the 38 million households studied across 13 states, 40 percent were living below the ALICE threshold. The 2016 Connecticut ALICE Update Report revealed that 27 percent (up from 25 percent in 2014) of households in Connecticut have earnings above the federal poverty level but below what it costs to afford basic necessities such as housing, food, child care, health care and transportation. When combined with the 11 percent of households living in poverty; more than 1 in 3 (38 percent) of Connecticut households are struggling to get by.

Continue reading: Connecticut Council for Philanthropy
Read the full 2016 ALICE Multi-State Comparison


Equality means dignity: Report highlights how working Americans struggle

By Ali Solis and Eileen Fitzgerald January 23, 2017

This week we celebrated the contributions of a great American Leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The United Way’s
recently released ALICE report raises the question of whether Dr. King’s Dreams for America are achievable in
today’s society. The movement that Dr. King led was not only inspirational, but it was essential. We know that his
voice is stilled today, but we must continue to heed his message.

United Way’s ALICE Report provides a comprehensive look at working families who are struggling financially in 13
states, and found that at least 31 percent of households in each state could not afford basic needs such as housing,
child care, food, health care, and transportation in 2014.

While there are many households across the country that are living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), there
are a significant number of households who qualify as, what United Way has deemed, “ALICE” – Asset Limited,
Income Constrained, and Employed.

The report collected and analyzed data from 13 states (Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana,
Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin) and determined that millions of
working Americans are struggling and unable to live a life of dignity. It is important to note that there are 8.5 million
renters with incomes below the ALICE threshold, yet there are fewer than 5.6 million available rental homes –
subsidized and market rate – that these households can afford without being severely cost-burdened. That is a gap
of 3 million homes.

Continue reading: The Hill

Read the complete 2016 ALICE Multi-State Comparison


Engaging Local Planning to Increase Housing Options for Our Next Generation

By Richard Porth January 17, 2017

In Connecticut, like other northeastern states, we worry about the out-migration of our young, talented workers, including our sons and daughters, to other states. You might think that these young people leave to pursue job opportunities elsewhere. A number of studies indicate that this may be true for some, but more often it has to do with the high cost of housing in many of our cities and towns. In fact, as documented by the Partnership for Strong Communities, Connecticut ranks sixth among states in median monthly housing costs. The lack of housing choices that are affordable at a variety of income levels forces some young people to look elsewhere to establish their household and make a new life.

This is especially true for young working families that struggle to pay for the high cost of child care and housing. United Ways in fifteen states are shining a light on this growing problem through the ALICE initiative (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). The 2016 Connecticut ALICE Report documents that households with income below the ALICE threshold, which is based on a Household Survival Budget that provides a conservative estimate for what it costs for basic necessities, make up at least 20 percent of the households in 145 of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities, and 38 percent of all Connecticut households.

Continue Reading: Partnership For Strong Communities

Register for the Zoning: How Local Decisions Shape Our Communities’ Future IForum taking place on January 26, 2017 from 8:30- 11:30


Connecticut housing costs remain steep for many, but number of affordable units rising

By Mary O’Leary December 13, 2016

Connecticut’s income inequality remained the second-worst in the country behind New York, “a gap adding to the housing-cost burden experienced by low- and moderate-income families: like other goods and services, those who can pay more drive up costs. The United Way of Connecticut found that almost half of all jobs in the state pay less than $20 an hour, while two-thirds of those low-wage positions pay between $10 and $15 an hour. This is a problem as the amount of hourly pay needed to meet the cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Connecticut went up to $24.72 an hour from $23.02 two years earlier. United Way put out a report this summer updating ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) that found housing “remains a primary barrier to family success.” Working individuals and families earning less than what the agency considers a “survival budget,” comprised 38 percent of all households, up from 35 percent in 2012. A survival budget is between $66,168 and $73,716 for two adults and two children, nearly triple the U.S. poverty rate in the U.S., according to ALICE. “Housing was the single highest monthly cost for individuals and second highest for families, trailing only child care,” the Partnership report found.

Continue reading: New Haven Register