RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF EXPANDED HOUSING OPTIONS
AND GREATER TAX FAIRNESS
WHEREAS, “Stable housing is the foundation upon which people build their lives – absent a safe, decent and affordable place to live, it is next to impossible to achieve good health, positive educational outcomes, or reach one’s economic potential.” (U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. 2010); and
WHEREAS, there are (insert number) extremely low income renter households in (insert state) whose income is $(insert number) or less for a family of four; and
WHEREAS, (insert number)% of extremely low income renter households in (insert state) pay more than half of their incomes for rent; and
WHEREAS, there is a shortage of (insert number) homes that are affordable and available for extremely low income renter households in (insert state); and
WHEREAS, this shortage of homes that are affordable and available for extremely low income renter households is the cause of homelessness in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Congress established the National Housing Trust Fund in 2008 as a dedicated fund intended to provide revenue to build, preserve, rehabilitate and operate housing for people with the lowest incomes, including people who are homeless; and
WHEREAS, the National Housing Trust Fund has not received any dollars since it was created, despite the growing need for rental housing that extremely low income households can afford; and
WHEREAS, investing in the National Housing Trust Fund will create jobs in the construction trades and in property management; and
WHEREAS, the mortgage interest deduction is under consideration for change by the U.S. Congress; and
WHEREAS, over three-quarters of the benefit for the mortgage interest deduction goes to households with income in the top fifth of all taxpayers; and
WHEREAS, only slightly more than half of homeowners who pay interest on their mortgages benefit from the mortgage interest deduction; and
WHEREAS, with modest modifications to the mortgage interest tax expenditure, the number of homeowners with mortgages who get a tax break could increase with most of the expanded benefit going to homeowners with mortgages with incomes under $100,000 a year; and
WHEREAS, with modest modifications to the mortgage interest tax expenditure, its cost could be reduced, freeing up federal resources to direct to housing assistance to needy households.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that (insert name) supports expanding mortgage interest tax benefits to more middle class and lower income homeowners by modifying the mortgage interest deduction by converting the tax deduction to a tax credit and by reducing the maximum size of a mortgage for which interest can be deducted; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that (insert name) urges Congress to direct sums resulting from mortgage interest deduction modifications to the National Housing Trust Fund to build, preserve, rehabilitate and operate rental housing that is affordable for extremely low income households.
Please include (insert name) in the list of organizations (elected officials) that endorse this campaign.