A number of recent surveys have all confirmed that even as the recession fades, the poverty rate in New York City continues to climb — while the gap in income between rich and poor remains entrenched. We’ve all read about the phenomenon of gentrification in neighborhoods like Spanish Harlem, the South Bronx and Upper Manhattan, where many families who have lived in these communities for generations are quickly being priced out of the housing market. But do we really know how bad things are?

Robin Hood and Columbia School of Social Work have developed Poverty Tracker survey, a new tool for getting a more accurate picture of poverty in New York City. Poverty Tracker has been surveying NYC households on a quarterly basis since December 2012. Recently, they announced the first wave of results, which reveal that the hardships suffered by disadvantaged New Yorkers are far worse than what official measures suggest. According to the survey, last year nearly 4 in 10 New Yorkers faced a persistent shortage of basic necessities like food or medical care, or experienced an acute incident of deprivation, such as staying in a shelter or moving in with others.

Robin Hood’s leadership in developing more comprehensive measures to reveal the true depth of hardship in our City has inspired me. The quiz below, taken from a number of sources, will test how well you know the struggles faced by poor and low-income New Yorkers. I will give you a hint: it is not a pretty picture.

Blog Post by Yisroel Schulman
President & Attorney-in-Charge