Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

Bold action can reduce poverty

- Dr. David Ehrenkrant­z Wyncote

I am relieved that Congress has passed a new COVID relief bill that will provide relief to renters, increase the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-wage workers, and, astounding­ly, cut child poverty by 45 percent by expanding the Child Tax Credit - with a monthly child allowance helping families each month starting in July.

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 child allowance 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.

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