Thousands of shots are fired every year in Pittsburgh. The bullets fly from handguns and assault weapons, echoing past houses and schools. And the city's black communities experience an unequal share of the resulting chaos and trauma.
“Every house has a story,” says Maryann Huk, director of the McKeesport Preservation Society.
And every house has its own remnants of life. Sometimes dishes are left on the table. Food in the refrigerator. And the owners long gone. It’s like an image taken straight from the aftermath of the Great Depression, Huk says.
Overlooked communities In Allegheny County, only 30 to 45 affordable rental units exist for every 100 low-income families. It is a housing deficit that perpetuates the cycle of poverty in the Pittsburgh region.
Today, Matthew Desmond — Harvard sociologist and author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City — spoke at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church to a room full of landlords, tenants, magistrates, housing policy experts and lawyers to discuss potential solutions to the shortage of affordable housing.
In American suburbs, earning a low income is not the only symptom of poverty. Of the 8.3 million adults in suburban poverty, there was almost always one other impoverishing factor — most commonly, a lack of health insurance, according to research from the Metropolitan Policy Program and the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institute.