I am relieved that Congress has passed a new covid relief bill that will provide relief to renters, increase the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-wage workers, and, astoundingly, cut child poverty by 45 percent by expanding the Child Tax Credit.
It’s now time for Congress to build on these successes by fixing vast inequities in housing and lifting more children out of poverty. First, make housing choice vouchers universal to all who qualify; currently, only 1 in 4 eligible renters get federal housing assistance. Next, protect workers and families by making the new EITC and CTC provisions permanent. Columbia University researchers estimate these combined changes could reduce child poverty in America by almost two-thirds.
We have the chance to make a generational leap in reducing poverty in America. I urge our members of Congress to take bold action to permanently and dramatically reduce child poverty and housing instability in recovery legislation this year.