Can we afford "affordable?"

Have you gotten lost in the city recently?

I don't mean downtown. I mean it's neighborhoods, where a lot of people live in rundown houses and apartment buildings.

Most people who drive in and out of the city every day for work do not see these neighborhoods. But there are a lot of them, despite numerous programs to demolish, renovate, or build better housing for people whose income falls below the median. The pace of improvement has been falling far behind the pace of decay for more than a decade.

On Need to Know this week, we talk about why "affordable housing" requires government support. That means money. And that, we all know, is in short supply these days.

We'll also talk about a city plan to take the limited resources available, and spend them in a few targeted neighborhoods. That could have greater impact. But how do you select which neighborhoods get help first?

Join me for Need to Know, this Friday night at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV, Channel 21, Cable 11. You can watch it on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. as well. And the audio airs on WXXI-AM 1370 on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.