2021 U.S. Poverty Laser Talks

August 12, 2021

Prioritize Housing Choice Vouchers in Recovery Package

Engage: Because of rising rents and stagnant wages, millions of families are paying more than half their earnings toward rent.

Problem:  Only 1 in 4 eligible renters is able to access federal housing assistance, and people of color are more likely to be cost-burdened renters.

Inform: Access to housing is critical for the well-being of families, yet millions struggle to keep a roof over their heads and meet basic needs [personalize by sharing your story, more about the high cost of rent/housing and/or homelessness in your area]. Furthermore, due to historically racist policies, Black Americans experience higher rates of extremely low-income renters and people experiencing homelessness than white households. Expanding rental assistance to all eligible renters will lift children out of poverty, stably house millions of families, and start to correct the legacy of racism in housing.

What are your priorities when it comes addressing the affordable housing crisis?

Call to Action: Will you tell members of the House Financial Services/Senate Banking Committee to include $180 billion in guaranteed, multi-year funding for Housing Choice Vouchers in recovery legislation?

Reduce Poverty for Low-Income Workers and Families

Engage: Starting this summer, 27 million children in low-income families can finally get the full Child Tax Credit as a monthly payment, and 5 million low-wage workers are no longer being taxed into poverty because their Earned Income Tax Credit is too low.

Problem: But these expanded credits are only in place for 2021. If they are not extended, millions of workers and children will fall below the poverty line next year.

Inform: The EITC and CTC together lifted 7.5 million people above the poverty line in 2019. And this year, the EITC changes will boost incomes for 17 million low-wage workers not raising children while the CTC expansion, including its new monthly payment option, can reduce child poverty by 45 percent [share your own experience and/or state data on the impact of expanding the EITC and CTC]. We must not abandon these workers and children after just one year.

Call to Action:  Will you urge members of the Senate Finance/House Ways and Means Committee to make the EITC and CTC expansions permanent this year, including full refundability of the CTC so children in families with little or no income get the full value of the credit? How may I follow up with you on this?

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