Go Ask ALICE: Who Can Afford The Basics In North Texas?

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More than 40 percent of Texans are one even minor catastrophe away from being unable to afford even the most basic needs, the United Way’s report on asset limited, income constrained, employed (or, ALICE) households revealed last week.

The most recent ALICE report looks at how many in each state and county lived below its threshold in 2016.

“The ALICE Threshold is the bare-minimum economic survival level that is based on the local cost of living in each area,” the United Way said. The average person that falls under that threshold earns above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford even the most bare-bones of budgets that account for housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and necessary technology.

Statewide, about 42.1 percent have a hard time making ends meet, the report revealed, which is a much larger number than the state’s 14 percent poverty rate.

In North Texas, those numbers vary. In Dallas, where the poverty rate is around 14 percent as well, the percentage of those living below the threshold is 43.4 percent. 

About a year ago, we reported on a study that found that Dallas was in the top five cities in the country when it came to eviction rates, with  5.6 percent, low-income renters accounting for 8.1 percent of all evictions. Middle-income and high-income renters accounted for 6.3 percent and 2.8 percent of evictions respectively, indicating that indeed, Dallas County residents are having trouble affording even shelter.

But in Tarrant County, 37 percent of households fall under that threshold, with a 10 percent poverty rate. Collin County shows 23.7 percent of its households fall under the threshold, with just less than a 7 percent poverty rate.  Denton County has a nearly 8 percent poverty rate, with 28.5 percent of its households falling under the threshold. 

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  1. Jay says

    The Alice Report apparently doesn’t adjust for illegal immigration. All this sort of reporting will show Texas as trailing, due to our high illegal population- healthcare, poverty, education, etc.

  2. David D. says

    This is the result of two things — 1. Believing Democrats & 2. Not taking action against local government.

    1. If you want social programs, then you will pay. Case in point — The biggest social scam ever is — Social Security. People working everyday will pay into the system. This system expects most retirees to live to age 75. Many seniors today — those born in the 1930’s – are living longer and off the current workers. After 75, retirees should have REDUCED benefits. Workers – write to your congress and demand less SS taxes.
    2. Where is the local tax dollar coming from? It is not a surprise Dallas is a high ranked city on the ALICE charts. Commercial properties here are assessed way below market value. Thus, residential people pay the burden. Workers — write to city, county, & state & complain about this inequality.

    • mmJon Anderson says

      OMG. The way property taxes are implemented is the responsibility of the state legislature – Republicans. There was a candidate for Lt. Governor whose pitch was to close a tax loophole costing the state an estimated $5 billion in mostly lost commercial taxes. Did you vote for Mike Collier?
      OMG2. A huge number of retirees and future retirees depend almost exclusively on Social Security in retirement (those who can retire). Reducing benefits will have catastrophic effects for tens of millions. If you want to deal with Social Security, one EASY way is to remove the cap on Social Security payroll contributions. Those whose income exceeds the cap wouldn’t even notice (in 2019 it’s incomes over $132,900).
      Coincidentally, I saw an old episode of Barney Miller last night and someone was promising to make one of the cops wealthy…placing him in the 70% tax bracket reserved for the super wealthy. Those tax rates began in the 1930s and were the law of a very prosperous land until the Reagan years. Of course back then a Picasso didn’t cost over $100 million and New York City penthouses could be had for less than $238 million.

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