New Research Links EITC to Improved Housing Outcomes

By Devin Simpson

Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can help make housing more affordable and improve other housing outcomes for single mothers and children, according to recent research.

Katherine Michelmore and Natasha Pilkauskas, assistant professors at the University of Michigan, released The Effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Housing and Living Arrangements, which examined whether expansions of the EITC affect homelessness and eviction, cost of living, and living arrangements for single mothers. The study found that a $1,000 increase to the EITC improved housing by reducing cost burdens and household crowding, and decreasing instances of “doubling up” or living with additional, nonnuclear-family adults. However, the EITC had no effect on evictions or homelessness, likely because the credit is not available to those who are experiencing unemployment and not receiving income.

While the research found that the EITC alone cannot improve all housing outcomes, the study highlighted how the EITC could be an effective addition to policy proposals to address housing issues. This report joins an extensive body of research on how the EITC improves outcomes across all areas of life such as education, health and more.

To learn more, read the full report here.