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Technical Report

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Over the past 25 years we have witnessed declining federal investment in affordable housing at the same time as there has been growth in low-income households. During this same quarter of a century we have seen a shift from a national "War on Poverty" to federal policies that treat poor adults and children as hopeless, undeserving citizens. In this new era of fiscal constraints there is no talk about meeting basic nutritional, housing, health care, and educational needs. A chorus of new conservative leaders claims to be speaking for the suffering middle class. The media increasingly talk of the "haves" and the "have-nots." It is not easy to hear talk of helping the working poor over the din of politicians seeking to protect "the family" and "traditional American values." This report is an effort to give voice to some of those working poor who have been struggling to preserve the affordable housing that is their road to self-sufficiency. It is the story about Uptown, a Chicago community which is about as "American" as it gets. Like the "traditional" urban communities in American cities in the late 1800s and early 1900s, our community is filled with immigrants who came to the United States, sometimes escaping persecution in their homelands and other times hoping to improve their quality of life through hard work in the land of opportunity. The names by the doorbells are not McGuire, Ianello, or Schmidt; they are Thu, Asoegwu, and Lopez.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.