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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...

“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...