New Report Finds Expansion of Housing Vouchers Could Play Major Role in Reducing Child Poverty

The Children's Defense Fund (CDF), a leading non-profit child advocacy organization and Steering Committee member of the Opportunity Starts at Home multi-sector affordable homes campaign, released a new Ending Child Poverty Now report affirming that greater investments in affordable housing are necessary to end child poverty in America. 

Its second edition of the report, updating an earlier study from 2015, calls for immediate action to reduce child poverty in America. The researchers found that, by investing an additional 1.4% of the federal budget into existing programs and policies, the nation could cut child poverty by 57% and lift 5.5 million children out of poverty. 

CDF identified nine policy improvements that could be enacted immediately: expanding housing vouchers; creating transitional jobs; increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); raising the minimum wage; expanding child care assistance; making the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit refundable; changing child support to benefit more children; making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable; and increasing SNAP benefits.How to Lift Millions of Children Out of Poverty Now

The report found that expanding housing vouchers would have the single largest impact among the nine policies, reducing child poverty by 22% and lifting 2.1 million children out of poverty.  The report modeled an expansion of housing vouchers for families with children below 150% of the official poverty guidelines who were not already receiving housing assistance and for whom a HUD fair market rent exceeded 50% of their income. This proposal would cost an estimated $22.3 billion annually.

The report notes, however, that these nine policy improvements should not be considered separately: “Maximizing the impact of these policy improvements requires they be enacted together. Picking and choosing from this menu of policy improvements won’t cut it.”

“It is a moral disgrace and profound economic threat that nearly 1 in 5 children are poor in the wealthiest nation on earth,” said Marian Wright Edelman, CDF founder and president emerita.  “This report calls for an end to child poverty for all children and shows how we can get started now with a 57 percent reduction immediately.”

Read the Ending Child Poverty Nowreport at: