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Charting a Mismatch in Housing Spending

December 18, 2013

Federal housing expenditures are unbalanced in two respects, as our new chartbook shows: they target a disproportionate share of subsidies on higher-income households and they favor homeownership over renting.  Low-income renters are far more likely than...

Homelessness Among Veterans Has Fallen, But Many Still Need Help

November 22, 2013

Homelessness among the nation’s veterans has fallen 23 percent between 2009 and 2013, according to new data released this week (see chart).  Federal rental assistance appears...

CBO’s New Deficit Options Include Good, Not-So-Good Housing Ideas

November 14, 2013

The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) new menu of deficit-reduction options includes one to convert the mortgage interest deduction to a tax credit worth 15 percent of mortgages up to $500,000.  A mortgage interest credit offers a fairer, more efficient alternative to the current...

Tax Reform Offers Opportunity to Rebalance Housing Policy

September 3, 2013

Lawmakers considering federal tax reform proposals should take this opportunity to rebalance housing subsidies to better align spending with need, as I recently explained on the National Housing Institute’s Shelterforce blog.

The federal government spent $270 billion in 2012 on tax...

“Moving to Work” Compromise Would Cut Risk from Expanding Demonstration

June 25, 2013

Major legislation to reform low-income housing assistance programs could include a significant, and risky, expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration, which gives 39 state and local agencies sweeping authority to operate outside the laws and regulations that normally govern the public housing and “Section 8” Housing Choice Voucher programs, we...

New Renters’ Credit Should Complement Existing Housing Development Credit

May 16, 2013

The paper on tax reform options that the Senate Finance Committee issued yesterday includes CBPP’s proposal for a renters’ tax credit to help the poorest families afford housing.  Such a credit would be a valuable complement to the...

It’s Time to Fix the Broken Mortgage Interest Tax Break

April 4, 2013

The mortgage interest deduction is one of the largest federal tax expenditures — it costs the federal government about $70 billion a year — yet it appears to do little to achieve the goal of expanding homeownership.  This tax break needs reform, as we explain in a new paper.

The bulk of the deduction’s...

A Bipartisan Call for More Help for Low-Income Renters

February 26, 2013

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Housing Commission called this week for expanding federal rental assistance to help all of the lowest-income households who need it.  We agree, because there’s more need for assistance than ever.

The number of unassisted renters who earned less than 50 percent of...

Number of Families Struggling to Afford Rent Rises Sharply

November 21, 2012

The number of low-income families struggling to afford housing has grown dramatically in recent years, according to CBPP analysis of new Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) data.  That’s one reason why so many poor children live in households that face major hardships such as falling behind on the rent or mortgage, as my colleague Arloc Sherman recently...

Housing Policy Should Put More of Its Money Where the Need Is

November 1, 2012

A recent New York Times op-ed explains that the nation’s housing policy focuses too much on tax subsidies for homeownership — which mainly benefit the wealthy — and too little on helping struggling and moderate-income families afford decent housing.  We agree,...

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