Bloomberg unveils proposal to increase earned income tax credit, federal funding for housing programs

Bloomberg unveils proposal to increase earned income tax credit, federal funding for housing programs
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Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergBloomberg viewed as having best chance to beat Trump in betting market analysis Poll: Trump trails 2020 Democratic contenders in Michigan The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi names impeachment managers as focus shifts to Senate MORE on Wednesday unveiled new proposals to reform the earned income tax credit (EITC) and boost federal funding for housing programs as he seeks to gin up support for his late entry into the 2020 Democratic primary.

The proposals would expand the EITC, increase funding to build more federal housing units, tackle homelessness and more.

"I'm running for president to reunite and rebuild our country because too many Americans are struggling just to get by, and they've been ignored by Washington for too long," Bloomberg said in a statement during a campaign swing through California. "The proposals we announced today reflect my determination to wage war on poverty — a more innovative and effective war, not business-as-usual."

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Bloomberg’s plan would reform the EITC by making it “more generous,” particularly for single childless workers, allowing it to be phased in more quickly and having it cover more workers. The former New York City mayor would also have the credit be paid monthly rather than annually, and study the possibility of expanding it to cover family caregiving and other forms of unpaid or ineligible employment.

Bloomberg would also seek to combat the country’s “severe shortage of affordable housing” by expanding the low income tax credit to help bring more construction to low-poverty areas “with substantial community investments to improve schools and reduce crime.”

He would also boost funding to federal affordable housing programs and allocate $10 billion for a competition rewarding municipalities that “remove obstacles to the construction of affordable housing in neighborhoods with good schools, transportation and economic opportunities.”

To combat homelessness, the plan would expand permanent supportive housing and provide more federal grants to cities that adopt effective homelessness prevention programs.

Bloomberg underscored his work as mayor to expand affordable housing in New York City and eliminate discriminatory and predatory practices, including starting a local EITC and building or preserving more than 170,000 affordable housing units between 2002 and 2013.

While Bloomberg has emerged as a vocal advocate on climate change and gun control, he continues to face criticism over his “stop and frisk” policy as mayor, for which he has apologized since launching his White House bid.