FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 9, 2012
CONTACT: Amy Clark, NLIHC: 202.662.1530 x227, firstname.lastname@example.org; John Russonello, BRS: 202-822-6090
New Poll Highlights Broad Support for Modifying Mortgage Interest Deduction, Funding Affordable Housing
A newly released poll finds that while most Americans like the mortgage interest deduction, a majority support changing it to make it more targeted to middle and low income homeowners, and to help renters afford housing.
The poll, conducted in August for the National Low Income Housing Coalition by Belden Russonello Strategists LLC, surveyed 1,006 adults from August 7-19, 2012 and found that 56% of Americans favor replacing the mortgage interest deduction with a tax credit that would provide the same percentage benefit for all households regardless of income. Nearly two-thirds (63%) support capping the size of mortgage for which one can get a tax break at $500,000. Support for these modifications is bipartisan with nearly equal numbers of Democrats, Republicans and Independents favoring both proposals.
Americans also believe that the housing needs of the nation are going unmet. Sixty-eight percent of Americans believe that not being able to find affordable housing is a large or very large national problem. Strong majorities support federal programs to build or rehabilitate affordable rental housing (69%) and federal programs to help low income families pay their rent (59%). When asked how to use the savings the federal government would gain from the proposed modifications to the mortgage interest deduction, 63% of those polled would make ending homelessness a top or high priority use.
“The mortgage interest deduction is very popular, but the American people understand that it can be improved to help more middle and low income homeowners. At the same time, the savings from reform can be used to end homelessness and create jobs by building more rental homes that low income families can afford,” said Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The American public is ahead of policymakers on this issue. It is time to enact reforms that will stop the subsidy of million-dollar houses and use the savings to help middle and low income families who need it most.”
The National Low Income Housing Coalition proposes converting the mortgage interest deduction into a non-refundable tax credit, and capping the size of a mortgage for which a tax break on interest can be claimed at $500,000. Together, these changes would save $20 to $40 billion a year. The National Low Income Housing Coalition recommends directing these savings into the National Housing Trust Fund, which would provide communities with funds to build, preserve, rehabilitate and operate rental homes that are affordable for extremely and very low income households.
Learn more about NLIHC’s reform proposal at www.housingtaxreform.org.
Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.
National Low Income Housing Coalition
727 15th Street NW, 6th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005
202/662-1530 | Fax 202/393-1973 | www.nlihc.org