Study Finds 38 Percent Of Maryland Households Can’t Afford The Basics

Heather Curtis
WMAL.com

WASHINGTON (WMAL) – Thirty-eight percent of Maryland households couldn’t afford basic necessities – including housing, childcare, food, transportation, healthcare and a smartphone – in 2016 according to a new study from the United Way. In Montgomery County that number is 27 percent, and in Prince George’s County it’s 35 percent.

The report found a family of four in Maryland needs an annual income of nearly $70,000 to comfortably meet its basic needs. That income is $82,000 in Montgomery County and $74,000 in Prince George’s County.

Since the last report the United Way put out two years ago, the ALICE – which stands for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed – population has increased from 35 percent according to Timothy Johnson with the United Way of the National Capital Area.

“So if we don’t move decisively and quickly to really put some good thinking around addressing this issue, those numbers are only gonna grow,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the research enables the non-profit to figure out where to allocate its resources and also helps inform policy makers and others about the issue.

When he speaks to local and state legislators, Johnson said he shares the information because policy makers, social service agencies and others will need to come together to increase the number of households in Maryland who can afford basic necessities.

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