Statewide polls in four states show broad support for increased federal funding for affordable housing to help end homelessness. Voters in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon also support modest changes to the mortgage interest deduction (MID) and rank ending homelessness over reducing taxes when asked how to spend revenue gained from MID reform.
While voters in all four states think the MID is a good idea, half or less think the MID helps them personally. More voters favor than oppose capping the size of mortgage for which interest can be deducted at $500,000. The favor vs. oppose results on the MID cap were 47% vs. 43% in CT, 57% vs. 34% in OR, 58% vs. 33% in NY, and 51% vs. 38% in NJ.
More voters also favor than oppose converting the MID to a 15% non-refundable tax credit in OR, NY, and NJ, with favor vs. oppose percentages of 45% vs. 43% in OR, 49% vs. 40% in NY, and 50% vs. 40% in NJ. The favor vs. oppose results in CT were 45% vs 47%.
Participants were asked to prioritize what to do with the estimated $230 billion over ten years in revenue raised by these two changes. Ending homelessness was the top priority in CT at 53% followed by deficit reduction at 51%, lowered federal income tax rates at 46%, and investing in affordable housing at 38%. While deficit reduction was the top priority in OR (49%), NY (53%), and NJ (51%), ending homelessness was the second priority in OR (40%), NY (51%), and NJ (48%). Voters in OR, NY, and NJ also had similar ranking for affordable housing investment (OR-42%, NY-45%, and NJ-44%) and lowering federal income taxes (OR-35%, NY-41%, and NJ-42%).
Voters in the four states overwhelmingly favor “increasing federal funding for affordable housing to help end homelessness.” Seventy-one percent of voters in CT favor this statement, with 59% in OR, 68% on NY, and 64% in NJ.
Phone interviews were conducted with 625 registered voter in each state. The CT and OR polls took place in May; the NY and NJ polls were conducted in June. The polls were done for NLIHC by Belden Russonello Strategists (BRS) and Mason-Dixon Polling and Research. The margin of error was +/- 4 percentage points.
The United for Homes (UFH) Campaign supports lowering the MID cap to $500,000, converting the deduction to a 15% non-refundable tax credit, and directing the revenue raised to the National Housing Trust Fund (NHFT). UFH has endorsed H.R. 1662, the “Common Sense Housing Investment Act of 2015,” which would make these two changes to the MID and use the revenue for the NHTF and other low income housing programs.
To see the results of the CT poll, go to http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/Connecticut_topline.pdf; the NJ poll, go to http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/NJ_toplines.pdf, the NY poll, go to http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/NewYork_Topline.pdf, and the OR poll, go to http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/combined_presentation_071515.pdf.
To learn more about the United for Homes Campaign, go to www.unitedforhomes.org.