Rep. Ellison Urges Reform of the Mortgage Interest Deduction during Hearing on Tax Policy

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) urged reform of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) and described his “Common Sense Housing Investment Act” (H.R. 1662) during a House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee hearing on tax reform. H.R. 1662 includes the essential elements of NLIHC’s United for Homes campaign to make modest reforms to the mortgage interest deduction and direct the resulting savings to affordable housing.

Mr. Ellison explained that reforms to the MID included in H.R. 1662 would benefit more than 16 million homeowners who currently do not itemize on their taxes. These reforms would generate savings of more than $200 billion over ten years for affordable housing programs, including the national Housing Trust Fund, to build tens of thousands of new homes for families of modest means.

Mr. Ellison stated, “Yesterday, nearly three dozen realtors stopped by my office to urge me not to make any changes to the $70 billion a year mortgage interest deduction. And these are my friends and I appreciate them a lot. But as much as I want to see things the way my friends do in the realtor community, I cannot ignore the pressing housing needs of Americans and the current problems the mortgage interest deduction causes. The status quo means giving significant tax breaks to families that earn more than $100,000 a year while giving little benefits either in homeownership or rental housing to people with lesser income. That’s why I introduced the Common Sense Housing Investment Act.”

Watch the archived webcast of the hearing at: