The new study by the Gender Equality Policy Institute shows that 59% of black women spend at least 30% to 50% of their salary on rent.
San Diego – Lisa Miller works for Pivot Sacramento and helps women find work.
“We’ve had clients sleep in their car, and they sleep in their cars with kids,” Miller said.
She said it serves mostly black and brown women, and that the biggest barrier to employment is housing.
“Rent has taken that giant leap,” Miller said. “A one-bedroom apartment is over $1,000. The rent is overrated.”
A new report shows that women face the brunt of the housing crisis, especially black women. Overburdened means that a woman spends at least 30% to 50% of her salary on rent.
We know the rent in California is high, but why do women allocate them more salaries than men?
Miller said, “I have some people who have applied for a job, a man and a woman, doing the same job, and the man makes more money than the woman. $1.50 more (an hour).”
Nancy Cohen, president of the Institute for Gender Equality Policy, said Miller hit the nail in the head.
“Women tend to earn less than men, and they tend to have less wealth,” Cohen said. “That means they have less housing spending.”
The list does not stop there.
“Women are more responsible for taking care of children and the elderly, they have less time to move around, and they have less time for paid work,” Cohen said.
Third, she said sexual harassment plays a big role in the housing market.
Here are some numbers from the report:
- 59% of black women are burdened with rent
- 52% of Latina women
- 73% of single mothers bear the burden of rent
“A lot of the ladies who wear black and brown are single moms,” Miller said. “They don’t have that family support or that dad who pays child support, so they’re really struggling.”
Also, having a job sometimes makes it difficult to get help.
“The luxury to fix, the luxury to work, doesn’t really provide support if you’re working,” Miller said. “There are people I know, who are struggling, who can’t get any public help, not Medicaid, enough food stamps, and they really need it.”
It got so bad, Miller said, that her employees even pay for hotel rooms for some of the women who come in so they don’t have to sleep on the street with their kids.
It’s a behavior that you should tell them to stop doing because there are so many people doing it for it.
What are the solutions? For example, build more housing in cities. Cohen said women tend to rely more on public transportation. So the closer they are to living in childcare and working, the more role they can play in the workforce.
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