Rep. Ellison Urges House Committee to Use Tax Reform to End Housing Poverty
Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) recently circulated a Dear Colleague letter urging the House Ways and Means Committee to use tax reform as an opportunity to end homelessness and housing poverty by keeping housing-related tax savings within housing. The letter asks representatives to join the letter to Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and Ranking Member Richard Neal requesting that comprehensive tax reform provide additional resources for stable, decent, and affordable homes for low-income individuals and families.
The letter doesn’t ask the committee to make changes to housing benefits in the tax code, but rather calls on the committee to reinvest any housing-related tax savings back into key affordable housing programs if they move forward with such changes.
Ellison’s letter states in part: “Comprehensive tax reform provides one of the best opportunities to end homelessness and housing poverty once and for all. As your Committee drafts comprehensive tax reform legislation, we urge you to seize this opportunity by redirecting any savings derived from changes to tax benefits for housing to providing affordable rental housing to low income families. This would include tax benefits that benefit some homeowners, such as the mortgage interest deduction, property tax deduction, capital gains exclusion, etc.—whether through direct changes or by increasing the standard tax deduction. Revenue derived from these sources should be dedicated to expanding highly effective affordable rental housing programs that serve families with the greatest needs, like the national Housing Trust Fund, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit with changes to ensure deeper income targeting, and other rental assistance and housing production programs.”