New research has found that, according to The Guardian, nearly half a million households in the United States, mostly and perhaps surprisingly urban ones, lack adequate indoor plumbing.
The data, compiled from statistics from the US Census Bureau by the Plumbing Poverty Project (PPP), a collaboration between the University of Arizona and King’s College London, and published on Monday, found that renters and people of color, even in some of the wealthiest cities, are more likely to be in a house with no running water or flush toilets.
The problem was perceived as particularly bad in San Francisco, according to The Guardian, where nearly 15,000 families live without a functioning plumbing system. San Francisco also has the third top billionaires in any city in the world, the outlet found.
The data also showed that as of 2017, black people made up 9 percent of the population of San Francisco, but 17 percent of homes with no indoor plumbing, The Guardian reported.
“The history of sanitary poverty in San Francisco is inextricably linked with priceless housing, falling incomes, transformations in the California rental sector after the recession, and racist prosperity gaps fueled by a kind of ‘anti-black urbanism’ that has driven either Black San Franciscans into precarious housing or completely out of the bay, ”Katie Meehan, senior researcher at PPP and Professor of Environment and Society at King’s College London, told The Guardian.
Tenants in San Francisco make up less than half of households in the city’s metropolitan area, but nearly 90 percent of homes have no working plumbing, The Guardian reported.
The research also showed that cities like Milwaukee, San Antonio, Phoenix, Seattle, and Cleveland made little or no progress in improving their plumbing problems between 2000 and 2017. All five cities have more than 3,000 households without proper plumbing, according to The Guardian.
“It’s not only that the gap between the watery rich and the water poor in America is widening, but also that it is being driven by a housing sector that lacks a safety net for working families, especially colored households who don’t know the astronomy Can afford prices from San Francisco, Seattle or now even Portland, ”Meehan said.