A new report from Opportunity Starts at Home multisector affordable homes campaign partner Children’s HealthWatch recommends that efforts to build more affordable homes in Massachutsetts be complemented with a combination of three other policies: 1) ensuring access to childcare assistance and reducing childcare subsidy co-payments; 2) increasing the state match to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) providing eviction-prevention assistance to families with rental arrearages. These recommendations emerged from the results of a listening tour, economic simulation modeling, and a healthcare cost-analysis, among other sources.
“This innovative combination of complementary policies would enhance the likelihood of working families having enough money to afford rent by closing the gap between earnings (income + EITC) and major expenses (childcare + rent), and provide a necessary buffer against eviction and its harmful costs,” the authors write. “No single solution is enough to fill the gap between low wages and basic needs expenses in family budgets. Though their situations are similar in many ways, each family struggling with housing instability is unique and faces a complex variety of issues that require flexible combinations of solutions.”
Read the full report, including detailed policy recommendations here.