From: The Honorable Keith Ellison
Make Tax Reform an Opportunity to Increase Resources for Stable, Decent and Affordable Rental Housing
Sign Letter to Ways and Means Leadership
Current Signators: Reps. Adams, R. Brady, Carson, Clarke, Watson Coleman, Conyers, Grijalva, Jeffries,
Kihuen, Lee, Meeks, Moore, Nolan, Holmes Norton, Serrano and Velázquez.
Supported by more than 2,300 groups from United for Homes including Council of Large Public Housing Associations, Corporate Social Responsibility
Association, National Council of La Raza, AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, Children’s Defense Fund, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Jesuit Conference USA, Jewish Community Action, National Manufactured Home Owners Association of America, Mercy Housing,
National AIDS Housing Coalition, National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Association of Real Estate Brokers – Investment Division, Housing Counseling Agency (NID-HCA), National Council on Independent Living, National Disability Rights Network, National
Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, National Leased Housing Association, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Network: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Institute Leadership Team, United Methodist Church-Global
Board of Church and Society, Volunteers of America and more!
Please join the below 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.
One of the most praised books of 2016 was
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. It chronicles the housing challenges faced by
families who earn too little to afford the rent and yet receive no governmental housing assistance.
Shamefully, only one in four eligible families receive the housing assistance they are entitled to. Our nation provides
more housing benefits to higher-income households than to extremely-low income ones. Inadequate resources lead to long waiting lists and life on the edge for more than 11 million families. Yet, we provide
generous housing benefits to
homeowners, especially those earning more than six figures a year.
We need a robust strategy to address the affordable housing crisis in this country. One in two rental households
pay more than 30 percent of their gross income on rent and utilities; one in four rental households pay more than 50 percent.
Nowhere in the United States can someone work 40 hours a week at minimum wage and
afford a one bedroom apartment at a fair market rent.
Tax reform is an opportunity to right-size our federal housing investment and meet our dire affordable rental housing crisis. To sign the letter, please contact Carol Wayman
at 5.4755 or Carol.Wayman@mail.house.gov in Mr. Ellison’s office by
Keith Ellison Gwen Moore
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Dear Ways and Means Chairman Brady and Ranking Member Neal:
Our nation is the in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. Growing demand has resulted in higher rents. More families than ever before struggle to pay their rent each
month. Every Congressional district and state across the nation is impacted. Yet, despite the need, federal investments that reduce homelessness and housing poverty are sorely underfunded. As a result, just one in four low-income families eligible for federal
housing assistance receive the help they need.
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 be dedicated 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.
In doing so, we can make the critical investments that our nation needs to help America’s families, our local communities and our national economy thrive. We know the key
to reducing poverty and increasing economic mobility is access to safe and affordable homes. Increasing access to affordable homes bolsters child and family success, economic growth, wages, and productivity. And, each dollar invested in developing and preserving
affordable homes boosts local economies by leveraging public and private resources to generate income—including resident earnings and additional local tax revenue—and supports job creation and retention.
At a time when America’s housing affordability crisis continues to reach new heights, our nation should be investing resources into programs that serve those with the most
acute housing needs. For this reason, we urge you to redirect any savings derived from reforming the mortgage interest deduction or other homeownership benefits —whether through direct changes or by increasing the standard tax deduction — into rental housing
programs that serve low-income families and individuals.