Children’s Defense Fund Report: Increasing Housing Subsidies Would Dramatically Reduce Child Poverty

Ending Child Poverty NowThe Children's Defense Fund (CDF), a leading non-profit child advocacy organization and Steering Committee member of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign, affirms that greater investments in affordable housing are necessary to end child poverty in America.  In its groundbreaking report, “Ending Child Poverty Now,” CDF shows that expanding housing subsidies would dramatically reduce child poverty, the most among nine policy solutions it explored.  

The CDF report found that investing an additional 2% of the federal budget into, and/or making changes to, nine existing programs and policies would reduce child poverty by 60% and lift 6.6 million children out of poverty. The nine are: housing subsidies; subsidized jobs; the Earned Income Tax Credit; an increased minimum wage; child care subsidies; a refundable Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit; SNAP benefits; a refundable Child Tax Credit; and reformed child support.   

The report finds that expanding housing subsidies would have the single largest impact among the nine, reducing child poverty by 20.8% and lifting 2.3 million children out of poverty.  The report modeled an expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher program.

“It is a national moral disgrace that there are 14.7 million poor children and 6.5 million extremely poor children in the United States of America – the largest economy in the world,” stated Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of CDF. “These policies could be pursued immediately, improving the lives and futures of millions of children and eventually saving taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars annually.”

America’s child poverty rate is one of the highest in the industrialized world. The report cites the well-established findings that poverty, housing instability, and homelessness hinder lifetime opportunity, stunt brain development, introduce toxic stress, contribute to life-long physical and mental health problems, hurt educational attainment, and slow economic growth and productivity.  The report makes clear that any national strategy to significantly reduce child poverty must prioritize investments in safe, decent, affordable housing. 

The Opportunity Starts at Home campaign is proud to partner with leading multi-sector organizations like CDF, all of whom understand that housing is deeply connected to their own respective goals.

Read the full report at:

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