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October 30, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

District income inequality level higher than at least 66 countries

According to new data released by the District’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer, the city’s level of income inequality is higher than that of at least 66 countries. Although the measures used to calculate the data (the Gini coefficient, for the more math-literate among us) are somewhat controversial as they compare a large city with U.S. states and whole nations, there is still enough data to support D.C. as having inequality levels that are much too high. (WaPo, 10/29)

[…] there is evidence that the District’s performance is notable among global cities. A 2008 United Nations report concluded that major American cities “such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Miami, and New York, have the highest levels of inequality in the country, similar to those of Abidjan, Nairobi, Buenos Aires, and Santiago.” A Gini of 60 or more puts D.C. above the average seen in selected cities of Latin America and the Caribbean (0.55), Africa (0.54) and Asia (0.4) in the past decade — though well below the 70-plus Gini figures seen in some South African cities.

World Bank research also found that D.C. income inequality levels were higher than 66 countries who reported data.

– With  Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits steadily shrinking, and currently set to end on September 30th, 2015 for more than 6,000 D.C. families, many are stuck waiting for officials to come up with a plan for real welfare reform that will meet a number of urgent needs. (WaPo, 10/29)

– Unbanked households decline slightly in Greater Washington (WBJ, 10/29)

COMMUNITY | Congratulations to Kaiser Permanente for being recognized as a leader in LGBT health care equality. (Kaiser, 10/20)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | On Tuesday, the D.C. Council passed a bill requiring future development deals on city-owned land to include a minimum affordable housing requirement, in which 30 percent of all housing units in development projects will have to be affordable for the long-term if the site is near reliable transit, and 20 percent if the site is elsewhere in the city. The bill, considered an important step toward increased affordable housing in the city, closely matches 2012 policy recommendations by the Coalition for Smarter Growth. (WCP, 10/28)

– According to a report from insurance company USAA, Bethesda is among the top ten best places for mid-career veterans to find employment. The report also found that 53 percent of veterans entering the civilian workforce described the transition as “difficult.” (WBJ, 10/29)

– The Washington, D.C. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has produced a series of seven oral stories highlighting the rich history of District neighborhoods and the residents who inhabit them. (LISC, 10/2)

Welcome to basketball season. I’m almost positive I won’t see you at a game!

– Ciara

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