From: The Honorable Keith Ellison
Sent By:
Carol.Wayman@mail.house.gov

Date: 2/2/2017

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, DeSaulnier, Green, Grijalva, Jeffries, Kihuen, Lee, Meeks, Moore, Napolitano, Nolan, Holmes Norton, Pingree, Pocan, 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!

Dear Colleague,

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
February 10.

Sincerely,

/s/                                                      /s/

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.

Sincerely,