Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Jake Bittle writes about rural homelessness as a seldom-discussed issue which calls out for a strong policy response to ensure the right to housing is met regardless of whether one's community is urban or rural:
While the trigger events that cause homelessness are similar everywhere—foreclosure, unemployment, addiction, illness—small towns have far fewer job opportunities and mental-health resources. And although the housing shortage in rural areas is not as severe as in large cities such as New York City, Seattle, or San Francisco, rural houses are older and more dilapidated on average than urban houses, according to HUD data. As a result, even though the housing crisis left thousands of vacant homes in rural areas, service providers often have trouble finding housing that meets HUD’s standards. This leaves advocates with an uncomfortable choice: Work with the limited resources available in their area, or advise homeless individuals to relocate, which can mean leaving their families and social networks behind.
(U)nless the federal government makes an attempt to tackle rural homelessness as a distinct problem, the issue will only worsen. Roman said NAEH helped Congress sketch out a special HUD program to solve rural homelessness, but that Congress never actually gave the department money to set the initiative up. Under President Barack Obama, the department reversed a years long rise in homelessness, and homeless aid is one of the few parts of the HUD budget that the Trump administration has not slashed. Still, Roman says, without a concerted effort to tackle rural America’s “hidden homeless,” the question of shelter in the United States will only be partially answered.
- And Bernie Sanders notes that the gap between the rich and the rest of us applies to agricultural communities, as agribusiness giants are extracting massive profits from increasingly precarious farms.

- Luke Savage discusses how the real working class - as opposed to an all-white male version of the same - receives virtually no attention from the U.S.' media. Andrew Coyne comments on Quebec's blatantly discriminatory Bill 21, and wonders whether Canada's federal politicians will start talking about what can be done at the national level to restrain bigotry at the provincial level. And Salimah Kassam writes about the dangers of white supremacists and the politicians who enable them, while Chauncey DeVega highlights the connection between Donald Trump's campaign appearances and racist violence.

- Pamela Palmater points out how the Libs' budget has once again put off the urgent needs and glaring disparities facing Indigenous women and children.

- Finally, Lana Payne rightly calls out the Cons as being the most faux of feminists - though it's worth noting that their obvious lack of genuine interest in addressing inequality doesn't mean there isn't ample reason to criticize the Libs' track record.

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