Montgomery County Community Action

Montgomery County Community Action

Friday, December 9, 2016

Community Action Announces Release of Self-Sufficiency Standard for Maryland 2016 Report

New! Self-Sufficiency Standard for Maryland 2016

Community Action is pleased to announce the release of the updated Self-Sufficiency Standard for Maryland 2016 Report

Please click HERE to view the report

Please click HERE to view a press statement from Diana Pearce, PhD, author of the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Maryland 2016 Report

Community Action Agency Participates in Launch of Maryland 2016 Self—Sufficiency Standard Report

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Montgomery County Community Action Agency, a member of the Maryland Community Action Partnership, participated in the release yesterday of the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Maryland 2016 Report. The updated Self-Sufficiency Standard was developed by Diana Pearce, PhD, Director of the Center for Women’s Welfare at the University of Washington.
The report found that Montgomery County has the highest self-sufficiency standard in Maryland. A family of three with one adult, one preschooler and one school-age child would need an income of $86,580 to cover the basic necessities – more than four times the Federal Poverty Level for a family of three ($20,160). Despite Montgomery County’s higher minimum wage, a parent with two young children would need to work over 155 hours per week at minimum wage to make ends meet.
The Self-Sufficiency Standard (SSS) is a comprehensive measurement which calculates how much income a family must earn to meet its basic needs (housing, child care, transportation, food, health care, and miscellaneous costs) without public or private assistance.  The report reviews Maryland’s counties and Baltimore, and shows varying family sizes.
The report shows that the amount required to meet the costs of basic needs increased between 2001 and 2016.  For a single adult family with two children (a preschooler and a school-ager), the standard increased on average by 66%, ranging from 42% to 90% across the state. In contrast, statewide, median wages only increased 40%, only about three-fifths of the increase in basic living costs.
In 2012 when the last report was done, a family of three living in Montgomery County needed $77,933 to adequately meet its basic needs—without public or private assistance.  The Self-Sufficiency Standard has proven to be a useful tool for service providers, researchers, policy-makers and advocates for the low-income community. The Community Action Board supports the use of the SSS as a more accurate measure of the true cost of living in Montgomery County and advocates for utilization of the SSS as an income guideline for County services.
“The Self-Sufficiency Standard is a critically important tool and can help us shed some light on the needs of County residents who are struggling to meet their basic needs,” said Pamela Luckett, Chair of the Community Action Board.  “We hope that the latest Self-Sufficiency Standard report will lead to a better understanding of the challenges facing low-income residents and result in more policies and programs to support the low-income community.”
The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Maryland 2016 report is available for download at and For more information, please call the Community Action Agency at 240-777-1697. TTY users, please call MD Relay (711).

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