This report offers recommendations for reducing income inequality and for giving all residents of the District of Columbia the opportunity for a secure economic future. As Mayor Bowser and the new DC Council start their work in 2015, the District is in good shape in many ways. But it also faces greater challenges than ever. Prosperity and a growing population have pushed housing prices beyond affordable levels in every corner of the city. The rapidly rising cost of living makes it even more important for residents to have good-paying jobs, yet wages are falling and unemployment remains high for residents without a college degree. The District has always been a city of haves and have-nots, but the gaps are stretching close to a
breaking point. While the top five percent of DC households have incomes over $500,000, higher than the top earners in any major city, the poorest fifth of households live on average income under $10,000. This in part reflects a growing gap between the wages of lower-paid and higher-paid workers -- now at the widest gap in 35 years -- and public assistance benefits that are low and have not kept up with the rising costs of living.