Join the United for Homes (UFH) campaign on May 17 to urge Congress to support modest reforms to the mortgage interest deduction (MID) that would benefit millions of lower income homeowners and to reinvest the savings from those reforms into affordable housing for the lowest income renters.
Due to underfunded affordable housing programs, just 1 in 4 poor families eligible for rental housing assistance in the U.S. gets the help they need. Meanwhile, three-quarters of federal housing subsidies go to homeowners through the MID and other homeowner tax expenditures largely benefitting households with the highest incomes. Half of all homeowners receive no tax benefit from the MID, and the vast majority of the MID benefits go to households with incomes over $100,000. Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted Matthew Desmond wrote about this inequity in his recent New York Times Magazine article, "How Homeownership Became the Engine of American Inequality."
The UFH campaign calls for reforms to the MID that would give a tax break to 25 million lower income homeowners and generate $241 billion in savings to be reinvested in affordable rental housing solutions, like the national Housing Trust Fund and rental assistance, for the lowest income households. The National Association of Realtors will be on Capitol Hill during the week of May 15 advocating with Congress against reforms to the MID. The UFH campaign has identified May 17 as the day to counter their messages by contacting members of Congress and flooding Twitter with messages about #SmartTaxReform.
Call your Members of Congress
Call your members of Congress and ask them to support smart MID reform, reinvest the savings in affordable housing solutions, and endorse the United for Homes campaign.
- Call the congressional switchboard toll free at 202-224-3121, or
- Visit NLIHC's website and enter your ZIP code in the Contact Congress box on the right.
Look up the contact information for your representative and senators and use the sample scripts provided.
Participate in a Tweetstorm from 1pm – 2pm ET on May 17!
Help flood Twitter with accurate information on how the MID promotes income and racial inequality and incentivizes mortgage debt rather than homeownership. Call for reforms to the MID that could help end homelessness and housing poverty in America.
Sample tweets are below; graphics can be found at: http://bit.ly/2qSyutO
- Why are subsidies going to highest income when so many low income renters are struggling? http://bit.ly/1Roj19L #SmartTaxReform Now
- Over 8 million of the lowest income renters pay more than half their income on rent. http://bit.ly/1Roj19L #SmartTaxReform
- For every 100 extremely low income households, there are just 35 rental units affordable and available to them. http://bit.ly/1Roj19L
- "It's no secret that the MID disproportionately benefits higher-income households." via @JRTHousing http://bit.ly/2qsXVT0
- "Convert the MID into a tax credit so that moderate- & lower-income families can benefit." via @JRTHousing http://bit.ly/2qsXVT0
- "The MID should be converted into a nonrefundable credit available to all taxpayers..." via http://bit.ly/2nTDc8o
- "It's time to reduce the amount of mortgage debt eligible for the deduction." via http://bit.ly/2nTDc8o
- "Modifications to the MID would generate tens of billions to increase the supply of affordable rental homes..." via http://bit.ly/2nTDc8o
- The MID promotes higher mortgage debt, NOT homeownership. We need #smarttaxreform #NARlegislative
- Did you Know that 75% of housing aid goes to the country's highest earners thru tax deductions? #NARlegislative
- Did you Know 70% of people in the US don't benefit from the MID? #NARlegislative
- The MID mostly benefits ppl who don't need hsg asst. Meanwhile, only 1 in 4 struggling rentals get the help they need. #NARlegislative
- Reforming the MID & reinvesting svgs could help address income inequality & end homelessness. Time for #smarttaxreform #NARlegislative
- We need tax policies that boost all working families, not just the wealthy #NARlegislative unitedforhomes.org
- Current mortgage deductions benefit highest income households. What about struggling families? #NARlegislative unitedforhomes.org
- Over 1/2 of homeowners receive no tax benefit from MID. It benefits highest income households. Rebalance & reinvest. #SmartTaxReform
- We spend more to subsidize homes of 7m highest income households than we do to help 55m with the lowest income. #NARlegislative
- <25% of federal housing spending benefits low income renters. Most goes to subsidize higher income homeowners. Time for #SmartTaxReform
- We have the solutions to end homelessness, build strong foundations & strengthen communities #United4Homes http://bit.ly/2qwCFuY
- #United4Homes proposal would generate $Bs in savings to be reinvested into rental housing for people w/greatest need http://bit.ly/2qwCFuY
- Through the #United4Homes campaign, 25m homeowners w/mortgages would receive a tax break. Learn more http://bit.ly/2qwCFuY
- Reducing the mortgage tax relief cap to $500k of a mortgage..."It just makes sense." #SmartTaxReform via http://bit.ly/2mjqcFd
- "The MID disproportionally benefits higher income households" #SmartTaxReform via http://bit.ly/2kK32KX
- Mortgage Tax Credit vs. Deduction? A credit would benefit 15m homeowners who currently don't receive tax relief from homeownership.
- We lack enough affordable homes. #United4Homes would provide $241B over 10yrs to reinvest in affordable housing. http://bit.ly/2qwCFuY
- #SmartTaxReform can do a lot to end homelessness & hsg poverty. Join #United4Homes to make reform happen: unitedforhomes.org
For our nation to address the affordable housing crisis faced by families with extremely low incomes, we must rebalance federal housing policy and increase investments in proven solutions.