Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Affordable housing in PA

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 24, 2016 3:27 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, June 24, 2016:

The housing crisis of 2008 happened almost a decade ago. Since then, property prices in the mid-state have rebounded. However, for many seeking housing, rising sale and rental costs are a source of stress. In Pennsylvania, a low-income family would need to work 101 hours a week at minimum wage to afford a 2-bedroom apartment.

Rising property prices are pushing rental costs even further upwards. These rising prices are forcing many Americans to cut other expenses. Fifty-seven percent of people struggling with their rent or mortgage cut back on grocery expenses, 43% on household necessities, and 31% cut back on paying off their credit card debt.

The issue has support from a majority of the country. Seventy-five percent of respondents to a recent survey agreed that community leaders should work to "create and preserve safe and affordable homes for all." Seventy-seven percent agreed that rental homes, which are affordable for families should be developed.

Some organizations in Central PA have been working to provide solutions to these issues of housing availability and affordability. Ray D'Agostino, Chief Executive Officer of the Lancaster Housing Oppurtunity Partnership, joins us Friday to discuss the prevalence of affordable housing in Central Pennsylvania. LHOP is a nonprofit whose mission is to cultivate partnerships and resources to increase the availability of quality, fair, and affordable housing throughout Lancaster County.

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Ray D'Agostino from the Lancaster Housing Oppurtunity Partnership

Also with us Friday to provide an understanding of the housing situation across all of Pennsylvania is Cynthia Daley, Policy Director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania. The Housing Alliance is a statewide organization that advocates for homes that are within reach of all Pennsylvanians, especially those with low incomes. They work to see policy changes which improve communities and reclaim blighted properties.

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