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Build Back Better Act Could Support Families, Affordable Housing in OR

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Thursday, November 18, 2021   

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Supporters of the Build Back Better Act are touting the benefits it will bring to families in Oregon and across the country.

A number of provisions in the legislation would directly help families, such as extending the Child Tax Credit. The credit went into effect during the last round of pandemic aid from Congress, providing cash directly to families monthly.

Loren Naldoza, legislative and communications manager for Neighborhood Partnerships, a housing and economic policy organization in Oregon, said the child tax credit would be hugely beneficial to Oregon families.

"That money goes directly to putting food on the table," Naldoza outlined. "Taking care of your children, paying for things that you would have to decide to put on the back burner; important things like your electricity bill this month."

Nearly 720,000 Oregon children received the child tax credit in October. The Build Back Better Act is receiving pushback because of its cost. The House could vote on the legislation as soon as this week.

The bill also would ensure families pay no more than 7% of their income for child care, providing access to care for about 220,000 children up to age five in Oregon. The average annual cost of child care in Oregon is 19% of families' income.

Naldoza pointed out efforts to make housing affordable are important as well. The Build Back Better Act would invest $208 million in Oregon through the National Housing Trust Fund.

"In terms of development, the National Housing Trust Fund is going to be extremely important," Naldoza contended. "It's the only federal source of funding for affordable housing for income levels at 0 to 30% AMI."

AMI refers to the area median income, calculating how much income a household spends on housing. More than 120,000 Oregon tenants are behind on rent. Nearly 300,000 Oregonians are considered rent burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on rent.


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