City Paper is not for tourists
Following up on the study about kids living in concentrated poverty, Elahe Izadi wonders if living in neighborhoods with concentrated wealth is any better for poor kids—especially considering 1 in 3 District children lives in poverty:
One way children could benefit from having wealthier neighbors is through an increasing tax base — if more affluent people live in the city, that means more tax money is coming in, which could potentially be used for schools and services benefiting low-income kids. Living in communities with affluent neighbors could also mean more amenities, better-resourced parks and increased transportation options, Rubenstein noted.
“There are ways that more income diversity is better for all kids,” she said. But Rubenstein is quick to note that such increased income diversity hasn’t made a dent in how many kids are living in poverty; while the city’s median income has increased by 12 percent, “childhood poverty barely moved.” And for those families, paying for housing, food and healthcare remains a challenge.
This makes sense. There are tertiary benefits for poor kids in nice neighborhoods—but nothing that will actually lift them out of poverty.
Photo by Mike Hicks