It’s no secret that many of the nation’s worst-hit families have been hit particularly hard by the financial crisis, which has left millions of Americans underwater on mortgages.
As part of its effort to solve the housing crunch, Congress is considering new legislation aimed at addressing the issues of homelessness and homelessness prevention, as well as making it easier for people to get temporary housing, as they’re already eligible for it.
Here are five ways the House is trying to address homelessness.
Make it easier to get a temporary home.
The House GOP’s version of a bill introduced on Wednesday would allow states to opt out of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which provides emergency financial assistance for people who are temporarily living with family members.
That would help alleviate some of the pressure on states and cities that have struggled to find affordable housing for low-income families.
Under the bill, states would no longer be required to provide emergency financial aid for homeless families in their states.
Expand child-care subsidies.
Under an amendment sponsored by Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), states would be able to expand their child-custody programs by up to $2,000 a year.
That’s a big change from the current $1,000 subsidy per child per year.
Reintroduce the HOME Investment Tax Credit.
The GOP’s proposed HOME Investment Credit would help families buy homes.
The $1 million credit, which was last extended in 2017, is set to expire at the end of the year, though it could be extended through 2022 if Congress passes another bill.
Make permanent the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is available to low- and moderate-income workers.
The EITC is a tax credit that helps lower- and middle-income households purchase a home or car.
In the past, the EITCA has been offered to families with two children, though the tax credit is set for the first child.
Expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The bill would extend the Child Care and Nutrition Tax Credit through 2021, and it would also make the tax credits available for families with children up to age 19.
The program helps low-wage workers with childcare costs, and also helps low and moderate income workers with health insurance premiums.
This would help low- to middle-wage families afford to stay in their homes, and will help families stay together while also providing more affordable housing.
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