The federal poverty level is a relic set in the 1960s based predominantly on food costs.
It does not take into account other costs such as housing, child care, and health care. Policy makers agree that in the absence of an updated federal poverty line, we need to adopt a measure that reflects local living costs.
In Arlington, 30% of our 2022 Area Median Income (AMI) is $42,690 for a family of four (which is about 150% of the federal poverty level). This is a more accurate reflection of poverty in our community, as current data shows that living costs for such a household in Arlington average three times that. There are 10,000 households or 24,272 individuals living below this level. That is just over 10% of our population.
Arlington Community Foundation runs a number of economic mobility initiatives and funds designed to address the many issues threatening to displace these individuals from our community. We also provide policy analysis and advocacy in our three main target areas aimed at these lowest income residents: deeply affordable housing, childcare, and living wage/workforce pathways.
For additional information about Arlington Community Foundation’s economic mobility initiatives, contact Anne Vor der Bruegge, Director of Grants and Initiatives.