The survey also asked respondents about a range of local, state, and federal housing policy solutions. Every policy solution, including those targeted to help low income renters, was supported by at least 70% of respondents.
Seventy-three percent of respondents favored expanding rental assistance for the 14 million Americans who qualify for housing assistance but don’t receive it, and at least 76% favored expanding federal housing programs to ensure that low income families with children receive assistance.
The proposal that received the greatest support (81%) was to “revise the federal income tax code so that more families with incomes from $40,000 to $70,000 receive tax benefits intended to help them purchase homes.”
This indicates potential support for the United for Homes campaign proposals to reform the mortgage interest tax benefit for homeowners from a tax deduction to a tax credit.
Lower income homeowners are less likely to benefit from a deduction because they don’t earn enough to itemize on their taxes, but they would benefit from a mortgage tax credit. United for Homes also calls for lowering the portion of a mortgage against which tax relief is applied from the first $1.1 million of a mortgage, which benefits wealthiest homeowners, to $500,000, and investing the savings into affordable housing.
“Having a decent, stable, affordable home is about more than shelter: It is at the core of strong, vibrant, and healthy families and communities. This survey demonstrates that the public wants action to address the nation’s real and pervasive housing affordability challenges.”
Said Julia Stasch, MacArthur Foundation’s President.
The 2016 How Housing Matters Survey is the fourth annual national survey commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation.