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September 27, 2022

Pandemic hotel housing programs are ending, leaving many with no place to go 

Hotel programs across the country that once served their city’s unhoused community as an alternative to shelters during the COVID-19 pandemic have begun closing their doors. Recently, a hotel leased by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless in Denver, the temporary home to 138 people previously living homeless, ended its housing program due to budgetary constraints as special government pandemic funding winds down. With less than half of its former residents having secured a new housing alternative, the end of the programs pushes many back into the street and into further uncertainty. (Washington Post) 

Securing housing a challenge for Supplemental Security Income recipients as rents soar 

Increased rents are preventing many recipients of the Supplemental Security Income program from finding affordable housing, a challenge that has forced some into homeless shelters as they continue to search for a place to live. Advocates point out that SSI amounts have failed to keep pace with what are now historically high rents, as a push for reforming other aspects of the program continue. (NPR) 

Housing crisis a matter of affordability with no clear-cut solutions 

The complexity of the housing crisis offers few short-term solutions as it effects are felt around the country. One business writer says the problem is better characterized as an “affordability crisis” with a shortage of homes only partially to blame. The reality is an amalgamation of market behaviors and economic policies that some say calls for public and private cooperation as well as congressional actions. (CNN) 

Child poverty sees historic plunge due to expanded safety net, study finds 

According to an analysis completed by the nonpartisan research group Child Trends, child poverty has decreased by 59 percent since 1993 under an expanded social safety net. The study evaluated the success of social programs and government aid in addressing the issue of child poverty. One of its co-authors noted eliminating poverty during childhood results in better adult outcomes across several categories. Earned-income tax credits, Social Security, and food stamps are the top contributors to lowering poverty rates in children over the last 25 years.  (New York Times) 

High rents are major driver of inflation 

A major contributor to inflation, economists have found, is the high cost of rents. According to a recent report from the Consumer Price Index, shelter prices increased by almost three-quarters of one percent last month, marking the largest increase since 1991. Shelter, which includes rent, lodging, and household insurance, accounts for approximately 30% of overall inflation and is the largest component of the CPI. (Vox) 

Census Bureau data indicates pandemic aid programs reduced child poverty and food insecurity 

Covid-era assistance programs significantly drove down child poverty rates and food insecurity in households with children, according to data from the Census Bureau. Cash-based approaches like stimulus checks 2020 and the expanded child tax credit in 2021 helped push child poverty below that of adults for the first time. Without these social program, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports poverty in 2020 was headed for its second largest increase on record. (Vox) 

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