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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,...

The Need to Rebalance Federal Housing Policy, Part 4: How a Renters’ Credit Could Work

July 19, 2012

As we explained in yesterday’s post, current rental assistance programs reach only a fraction of families in need.  A federal file type icon renters’ tax credit could help fill some of that gap. Here’s how it would work:  Congress would create the credit, which it...

Renters' Credit Reduces Housing Cost Burden by 27 Percent For Sample Family

The Need to Rebalance Federal Housing Policy, Part 3: Current Policies Don’t Keep Up

July 18, 2012

Yesterday’s installment of this blog series described how housing affordability has worsened for renters.  Today, we look at how rental assistance can benefit low-income households — and how current rental assistance programs reach only a fraction of...

Congress Should Promptly Pass Core Provisions in SESA

October 13, 2011

I testified today before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity on how some of the Section 8 Savings Act (SESA) self-sufficiency provisions are promising, though improvements are needed, and on the risks of sharply expanding HUD’s “Moving-to-Work” demonstration. Here is the opening of my testimony:

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