Affordable Rental Housing Laser Talk

August 2, 2019

Increase Access to Affordable Rental Housing 

Engage: We have an affordable housing crisis. According to Harvard researchers, since 1960 renters’ median earnings have gone up 5 percent while cost of rent went up 61 percent.

Problem: We subsidize housing via our tax code by giving tax incentives to wealthier homeowners, while renters are ignored, and wealth inequality and the racial wealth divide get worse. In addition, only one in four of those eligible for housing assistance gets it.

Illustrate or Inform: A renters’ tax credit could help address the affordable housing crisis by capping the out-of-pocket rent and utilities expenses a low-income household would pay at around 30 percent of their income. The credit would cover any excess above that up to 100 percent of the community’s “Fair Market Rent.” There have been bipartisan proposals to create a renters’ credit such as H.R. 2169 and S. 1106 (as well as S. 3590, H.R. 7050 and S. 3342 in the last Congress), and researchers at Columbia University estimate that a renters’ credit could lift over 9 million Americans above the poverty line.

Call to Action: In addition to supporting efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing, will you support a renters’ credit and voice support for it with House/Senate leaders?

 All current U.S. Poverty Laser Talks (Word)

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