Rep. Ellison Seeks Cosponsors for
“Common Sense Housing Investment Act”

Keith EllisonIn response to the Washington Post’s November 30, 2015 editorial calling for mortgage interest deduction reform, Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) has circulated a new “Dear Colleague” letter.

This letter asks Members of the House of Representatives to cosponsor his Common Sense Housing Investment Act of 2015” (H.R. 1662).

The bill would modify the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) and invest the savings into affordable rental housing for people with low incomes.

“As the Post noted, our nation provides way more generous benefits to the wealthiest homeowners while providing inadequate rental housing assistance to low-income families. In fact, the average family earning more than $200,000 a year receives four times the federal housing benefits received by the average family who earns under $20,000 annually. Meanwhile, our rental housing crisis continues to worsen. Nearly half of all renters pay more than 30% of their income for housing and nearly all extremely low-income households pay more than half.”

Mr. Ellison writes.

H.R. 1662 contains the essential elements of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) led United for Homes (UFH) campaign.

The UFH campaign would reduce the portion of a mortgage eligible for a tax break from the current $1 million to $500,000 and convert the deduction to a 15% non-refundable tax credit. Phased in over five years, these changes would create an additional $213 billion in revenue over ten years without adding to the federal deficit.

The UFH campaign calls for investing these savings into the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) for affordable housing. The proposed changes would also expand mortgage interest tax benefits to millions more low and moderate income homeowners who do not currently benefit from the MID, most of whom have incomes below $100,000.

Click here to read Mr. Ellison’s “Dear Colleague” letter.

Click here to read Mr. Ellison’s letter to the editor of the Washington Post.

Click here to join the campaign.

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