Ask your representatives to sign onto Representative Keith Ellison's (D-MN) "Dear Colleague" letter urging Congress to reinvest any savings from changes to the mortgage interest deduction and other homeownership tax benefits into key affordable rental housing programs for people with the greatest needs.
As Congress begins to focus on comprehensive tax reform, it has become clear that policymakers are actively considering reforms to the mortgage interest deduction and other homeownership tax benefits that largely serve higher-income households. Representative Ellison has issued a Dear Colleague letter calling on Congress to reinvest any savings from reforming these tax benefits - whether through direct changes or by increasing the standard tax deduction - into rental housing programs for families with low incomes. These programs include the national Housing Trust Fund, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit with improvements to ensure deeper income targeting, and other rental assistance and production programs.
Our nation is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. Growing demand has resulted in higher rents, and more families than ever before struggle to pay their rent each month. Every Congressional district and state across the nation is impacted. But, despite the need, federal investments that reduce homelessness and housing poverty are sorely underfunded. As a result, just one in four families eligible for housing assistance receives the help they need.
Comprehensive tax reform provides one of the best opportunities to end homelessness and housing poverty once and for all. By reinvesting the savings from reforming the mortgage interest deduction and other homeownership tax benefits, Congress can make the critical investments that our nation needs to help America's families, our local communities, and our national economy thrive. Given America's growing affordable rental housing crisis, it is critical that Congress reinvest scarce federal resources into providing affordable rental homes for people with the greatest needs.
The key to reducing poverty and increasing economic mobility in the U.S. is access to safe and affordable homes. Increasing access to affordable homes bolsters child and family success, economic growth, wages, and productivity. And each dollar invested in developing and preserving affordable homes boosts local economies by leveraging public and private resources to generate income and supports job creation and retention.
See NLIHC's Factsheet on the mortgage interest deduction.
HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION
- Ask your representative to sign onto Representative Ellison's Dear Colleague letter, urging Congress to reinvest any savings from reforming the mortgage interest deduction and other homeownership tax benefits into providing affordable rental housing to low-income families. The deadline for representatives to sign on is October 27!
- Thank your representative if he or she has already signed onto Mr. Ellison’s Dear Colleague letter. It’s important that our champions hear from you!
Representatives who have already signed onto the letter are: Gwen Moore (D-WI), Alma Adams (D-NC), Bob Brady (D-PA), Andre Carson (D-IN), David Cicilline (D-RI), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), John Conyers (D-MI), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Al Green (D-TX), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Denny Heck (D-WA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Ruben Kihuen (D-NV), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Richard Nolan (D-MN), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Darren Soto (D-FL), and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).
- Sign our petition in support of Mr. Ellison's Dear Colleague letter and join more than 2,000 housing advocacy organizations who support reinvesting savings from reforms to homeownership tax benefits into affordable housing programs.