On July 31, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced H.R. 5352, the Pathways Out of Poverty Act of 2014, a sweeping anti-poverty bill that includes major initiatives on housing, education, nutrition, jobs, and tax credits.
“As a nation, we need to commit to the goal of ending poverty in America. This bill establishes a national goal to cut poverty in half over the next decade while providing the resources, infrastructure and good paying jobs to achieve that goal,” Ms. Lee said in statement upon the bill’s introduction.
Ms. Lee’s bill includes the Common Sense Housing Investment Act, H.R. 1213, which was introduced by Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) in March 2013 (see Memo, 3/15/13). Mr. Ellison’s bill would fund the National Housing Trust Fund from revenues created by modifications to the mortgage interest deduction. H.R. 1213 would convert the mortgage interest deduction into a mortgage interest tax credit. It would also reduce the value of mortgages for which taxpayers paying mortgage interest can receive the tax credit from $1 million to $500,000. These modifications would generate more than $200 billion over ten years. Mr. Ellison’s bill and H.R. 5352 would direct 60% of these monies into the NHTF and the rest to Public Housing, Section 8, and Low Income Housing Tax Credit programs.
The bill has 37 original cosponsors. Because of its broad nature, it has been referred to ten House committees, including the House Financial Services Committee, which has oversight of housing policy issues, and the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy.
Ms. Lee’s press release about the bill is at http://1.usa.gov/1ljyC8t.
Ms. Lee’s section-by-section summary of the bill is at http://bit.ly/1khIZPaf.
More information about H.R. 1213 is at http://nlihc.org/unitedforhomes/legislation.