Washington, D.C.-The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) applauds Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) for calling on the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee to reinvest any savings from housing related tax reforms into programs that reduce homelessness and housing poverty in the U.S.
Mr. Ellison, a longtime advocate for affordable housing for all, circulated a Dear Colleague letter yesterday to Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA). In the letter, Mr. Ellison urges Congress to reinvest any savings from housing related tax reforms – including those to the mortgage interest deduction (a $70 billion a year tax write-off that largely benefits America’s highest income families) and other homeownership tax benefits – into affordable rental housing programs for families with the greatest needs. “Comprehensive tax reform provides one of the best opportunities to end homelessness and housing poverty once and for all,” writes Mr. Ellison. With comprehensive tax reform being taken up by Congress, Mr. Ellison urges that housing related tax savings “should be dedicated to expanding highly effective affordable rental housing programs that serve families with the greatest needs, like the national Housing Trust Fund, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit with changes to ensure deeper income targeting and other rental assistance and housing production programs.”
Research by NLIHC and others clearly demonstrates the extent of our nation’s affordable housing crisis. Nationally, there is a shortage of 7.2 million rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households. In no state can a person working full-time at the federal minimum wage afford a modest one-bedroom apartment at the fair market rent. Seventy-five percent of all extremely low income households (including seniors, people with disabilities, and the working poor) are severely housing cost burdened, spending more than half of their incomes on their housing, and hundreds of thousands are homeless.
NLIHC leads a coalition of over 2,300 organizations and elected officials on a campaign to rebalance our country’s federal investments in housing to end homelessness and housing poverty. The United for Homes campaign calls for modest reforms to the mortgage interest deduction that would provide new tax relief to millions of lower income homeowners and would generate $241 billion of savings over ten years to invest in affordable rental housing for the lowest income families.
“It’s time to reprioritize and rebalance scarce federal housing resources to serve those with the greatest needs,” said Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO. “We applaud Representative Ellison for his letter calling for just that, and we encourage his colleagues to support the investments in affordable housing that our country so desperately needs.”
To read Representative Keith Ellison’s Dear Colleague letter, visit: http://bit.ly/2j2j8MM
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 income in the United States have affordable and decent homes.