California's Shame: Why Are So Many Elderly Stuggling to Afford Housing?

Old age should be a time of security. For the elderly, having a home that is comfortable, safe, well-located, and affordable is essential to that security and to their health. Unfortunately, staying in one's own home is not so easy for the elderly who, after retiremenent, are mostly on fixed limited incomes. Elderly who rent their homes are being threated by unprecedented demand for housing in California and rapidly increasing rents. Elderly homeowners are similarly threated as they struggle with their mortgage payments and property upkeep and the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis. The maps below, using five years of data from the most recent American Community Survey, reveal just how many elderly homeowners and renters are struggling with affording their own home.

Median Household Income of Elderly Californians

Cost Burdened Elderly California Homeowners

Cost Burdened Elderly California Renters

Why Does Restaurant Safety Vary So Much from Neighborhood To Neighborhood?

Data from government inspections can reveal how well or or how poorly cities manage restaurant safety. What we find in San Francisco is that chronically low performing restaurants cluster along a few streets and in a few neighborhoods. Whe does safety vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Its unlikey that neighborhoods affect the behavior of restaurant owners. Do inspectors conduct inspections differntly? Are environment problems such as older buildings or poor sanitation creating problems like rodent infestations. This map, using inspection data from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, reveals restaurants have the combination of low scores, serious violations, and delays in correcting problems.

Where Are the Most Disadvantaged Neighborhoods in California

The health of people varies significantly from neighborhood to neighborhood even within the wealthiest regions of the country. Part of this variation in health is rooted in a neighborhood's economic wealth, social resources and environmental conditions. Our map of neighborhood disadvantage in California adapted the approach taken by the UK Index of Multiple Disadvantage to bring together 27 publically avaialable measures of economic, social, political, and environmental disadvantage for California.

Just How Noisy is Moving Coal?

Planned expansions of shipping facilities in the Pacific Northwest are being developed to exploit the extraction of coal from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming. Moving the coal to those facilities would increase the already significant noise pollution on freight rail routes in Washington. Noise from railway operations can interfere with speech, impair memory and learning, disturb sleep, and increase blood pressure yet regulation for railway noise do not protect residents from these health impacts. These maps show how cumulative noise exposures would change at two cities on the coal train routes--Bellingham and Cheney, Washington.

Bellingham Noise Map

Cheney Noise Map