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2019 Report Shows 50% of Broward Residents Struggle to Pay for Basic Needs

United Way of Broward County announced that new research from the 2019 ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report shows 50 percent of 681,474 households in Broward County, struggle to pay for basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care and technology. Statewide, 46 percent of households face the same financial challenges. In Broward County, the number of working families struggling to cover essentials grew by six percent between 2014 and 2016.

“It is crucial that United Way publishes this data to shed light on the challenges working people and families face here in Broward County,” said Kathleen Cannon, President/CEO of United Way of Broward County. “The most recent numbers show that there is still a lot of work to be done, the average household of four people must make at minimum $32.52 per hour to afford the basic essentials such as housing, food and childcare.”

These struggling Floridians are households earning above the poverty line but not enough to cover basic household expenses. Even in affordable communities, increases in everything from child care to health care obstruct a family’s ability to save or buy a home despite holding down a 40-hour-a-week job.

“The updated 2018 ALICE report again demonstrates the disturbing reality that the gap between low wages and high cost of housing in Broward County places an increased burden on families struggling to provide for their basic necessities. We must focus on reducing this disparity,” said Senator Nan Rich.

According to the 2019 ALICE report, the cost of basic household needs increased steadily, outpacing the rate of inflation and wage growth. Between 2015 and 2016, the cost to meet basic needs in Broward County rose five percent for a family of four and seven percent for a single adult, compared to Florida where the cost rose 20 percent per family and 12 percent for a single adult.

“We started a movement five years ago to raise awareness about these families who work and want to provide for their families,” said United Way of Florida President Ted Ganger. “Through the efforts of our local United Ways and their partners, we can develop simple, fiscally conservative solutions that would have an immediate, positive impact on families.”

Other findings include:

  • 37 percent of individuals and families living in Broward County earn more than the Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living in our community.
  • 13 percent of individuals and families in Broward County are living below the Federal Poverty level.

Florida is one of 18 states that have ALICE reports published. The research is supported in part by the Aetna Foundation, AT&T, Atlantic Health System, Deloitte, Entergy, Johnson & Johnson, KeyBank, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, OneMain Financial, RWJBarnabas Health, Thrivent Financial Foundation, Union Bank &Trust, UPS and U.S. Venture.  For town- and county-level ALICE data, or to find county-by-county survival and stability budgets for six family sizes, visit UnitedWayALICE.org/Florida.

United Way of Broward County is a volunteer driven, community-based, non-profit organization servicing Broward County for more than 75 years. United Way of Broward County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. United Way of Broward County is the catalyst for change and convener of partnerships that unite the hearts, minds, and resources within the Broward community. For more information, visit www.UnitedWayBroward.org

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