WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced H.R. 1662, the Common Sense Housing Investment Act, which would replace the mortgage interest deduction with a 15 percent flat rate tax credit on interest paid on mortgages up to $500,000. The tax credit would be available to all homeowners, regardless of whether they claim the standard deduction or itemize their tax deductions.
According to Rep. Ellison’s press release, H.R. 1662 would generate more than $200 billion in revenue over ten years, which it would redistribute into existing affordable rental housing programs, including the Housing Credit, Section 8 rental assistance, the Public Housing Capital Fund, and the Housing Trust Fund.
H.R. 1662 has five original co-sponsors, all of whom are Democrats. They are Representatives John Conyers (MI), Barbara Lee (CA), Bobby Rush (IL), Bobby Scott (VA), and Donna Edwards (MD). The bill has been referred to the Committees on Ways and Means and on Financial Services.
Rep. Ellison also introduced the Common Sense Housing Investment Act in the 113th Congress, as H.R. 1213. At that time it was referred to the Committees on Ways and Means and on Financial Services but no further action was taken.
“Working Americans who put in long hours should be able to afford a place to sleep and food to eat every night," Rep. Ellison said. "The Common Sense Housing Investment Act provides a more generous tax benefit for more working families with mortgages and makes a significant contribution to addressing the rental housing crisis. It would enable 16 million more current homeowners with a mortgage to receive a bigger tax break. It also makes a significant contribution to the gap of 7 million affordable rental homes needed for extremely low-income families. In Minnesota, more than 6 in 10 renter households earning below $50,000 a year paid more than 30 percent of their income for rent. The Common Sense Housing Investment Act creates opportunity for every hard-working family, making our communities and stretching the paychecks of working Americans.”