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Helping Renters Afford Their Homes

July 16, 2014

Today’s New York Times “Room for Debate” forum asks “Should Housing Policy Support Renters More?”  It’s an important discussion since, as we explain in this chart book, federal housing policy is imbalanced in two...

House Restriction on Housing Vouchers Would Harm Low-Income Residents of Oil and Gas Boomtowns

June 19, 2014

The House adopted an amendment offered by Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) to limit subsidies in the Housing Choice Voucher program.  The amendment, attached to the House 2015 funding bill for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), would weaken state and local housing agencies’ ability to adapt to rental markets in individual communities.  Some of its worst effects...

Tax-Credit Bill Would Help Low-Income Families Facing Higher Rents

April 17, 2014

House Ways and Means Committee member Charles Rangel (D-NY) has introduced legislation to establish a new federal tax credit to help low-income renters afford housing.  As we’ve explained, a renters’ credit along these lines would...

Obama Plan to Raise Rents on Rural Poor is the Wrong Way to Save Money

April 11, 2014

About 42,000 extremely poor families — 15 percent of those assisted through the Agriculture Department’s (USDA) rural rental assistance program — could face rent increases of up to $600 a year under a proposal in President Obama’s 2015 budget.

Today, families with rural rental assistance must pay 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities.  The President’s proposal would require...

Ryan Budget Mischaracterizes Housing Vouchers, Then Sets the Stage to Cut Them

April 4, 2014

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan used a faulty number to argue that “Section 8” Housing Choice Voucher program costs have risen excessively.  His budget documents also float a proposed expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration that could lay the groundwork for deep, harmful cuts in the voucher program in years to come.  That program, which helps 2.1 million low-income...

5 Proven Benefits of Housing Vouchers — and How Vouchers Help Your State

March 11, 2014

A key question for next fiscal year is whether policymakers will adequately fund the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which helps more than 2 million low-income families rent modest units of their choice in the private market but has been hit hard by the sequestration budget cuts.  Some...

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...

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