A New Safety Net for Low-Income Families

The Urban Institute

Urban Institute researchers found that four in five of America’s 13.7 million low-income families include working adults, but still struggle to cover everyday living expenses, even with incomes twice the federal poverty level. While some families receive food stamps, child care subsidies, tax credits and work supports, those programs offer too little and fail to reach all families in need.

In eight essays, the researchers propose creating a new, research-based safety net of public/private supports. The essays call for tax credits for renters and homeowners; state-designed health care purchasing pools and subsidies to purchase health care based on a sliding scale; savings accounts opened with a government deposit of $500 for every child at birth; and, more investment in child care assistance and child development programs, among other supports. Free, 20 pages. (202) 261-5687,


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