Read this week’s federal update for the latest on: 

  • House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Hearing on Reducing Child Poverty
  • Administration for Children and Families Approves Maryland and Arkansas Family First Prevention Plans
  • New York Organization Pursues New Model to Address the Social Determinants of Health
  • States Step up Efforts to Bolster Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program
  • Public Charge Update
  • New Ratings Released from the Federal Family First Clearinghouse

House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Hearing on Reducing Child Poverty

Earlier this week, the House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on reducing child poverty . Witnesses included Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, professor of human development at Brandeis University, Douglas Besharov; professor at University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy; Cheryl Brunson, Brookland Manor Tenants’ Association and the DC Poor People’s Campaign; Autumn Burke, assemblywoman from California State Assembly; Kathryn Edin, professor of sociology at Princeton University; Irwin Garfinkel, professor of contemporary urban problems at Columbia University; and Matt Weidinger, Rowe Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. There was some discussion of childhood trauma and the impact of growing up in poverty. There was a lot of focus on addressing homelessness, clean drinking water, quality education, and more. Much of the focus of the hearing was on a study by the National Academies of Sciences on child poverty last year.

Administration for Children and Families Approves Maryland Family First Prevention Plan

In the last few weeks, the Administration for Children and Families approved Maryland’s prevention plan for Family First Title IV-E. The Maryland plan outlines how the state will implement prevention services. It is one of the first states in the country to get an approved plan. The Arkansas prevention plan was approved just a few weeks ago. Both Utah and Washington DC also have approved plans.

Source: APHSA

New York Organization Pursues New Model to Address the Social Determinants of Health

The Alliance for Better Health, based in New York, will be an intermediary between health care providers, payers, and community-based organizations to address the social determinants of health. Instead of health care providers directly investing in social needs services, this model would use an independent practice association to create partnerships, take referrals for services and manage billing.

Source: Root Cause Coalition

States Step up Efforts to Bolster Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program

As the national affordable housing crisis gets increasingly worse, Illinois and Arizona are working to pass legislation that will incentivize the construction and preservation of housing for low income families. Both states are considering state funding mechanisms that will complement the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which has spurred investment in approximately one-third of all new multifamily housing units in the U.S. since 1987. In Illinois, 72% of low-income families are housing burdened, meaning they pay more than 30% of their income on housing. The state legislature is deliberating over tax credit legislation that, together with the LIHTC, will help attract enough investment to fill the current shortfall of 300,000 affordable housing units across the state. In Arizona, where there is a shortfall of 153,000 units and 78% of low-income families are housing burdened, the state legislature is considering similar legislation. Thirteen other states have already passed state LIHTC legislation, having recognized that affordable and stable housing plays an important role in addressing the social determinants of health and improving population health outcomes.

Public Charge Update

On Monday, Feb. 24, the Trump Administration’s “Public Charge” rule went into effect. This new rule gives the Departments of State and Homeland Security greater latitude in scrutinizing immigrant applications to the U.S. When judging whether a potential immigrant will become dependent on the government, or a “public charge,” immigration officials will be able to consider each applicant’s history of participation in an expanded list of public programs, including Medicaid and housing subsidies. Officials will also be able to consider an applicant’s income, education level and health background – what many immigration activists say amounts to a “wealth test”. In addition to denying many would-be immigrants, this new rule will also bring about a “chilling effect” in the immigrant community in the U.S. Individuals with family members who are applying for green cards or citizenship will avoid participation in public programs that they need, mistakenly believing that participation will jeopardize their family members’ applications.

Source: CBS

New Ratings Released from the Federal Family First Clearinghouse

The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse has released ratings for a new batch of prevention services and programs under consideration for the Family First Prevention Services Act. Please see the list below and click on each program to learn more:

Click here to see the comprehensive list of all programs and services reviewed by the Clearinghouse. 

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