Congress Can't Afford to Wait

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More than 14 million American households spend more than half their income on housing or live in substandard units.

May 01, 2003

 

Kent Conine, President NAHB

Kent@conine.com

 

More than 14 million American households spend more than half their income on housing or live in substandard units. The homeownership rates for African-Americans and Hispanics are 48% and 49%, respectively, far behind the 74% rate for nonminority households. And our country is losing almost half a million low-income rental units a year.

One of the most important jobs facing Congress is enactment of homeownership tax credit legislation. H.R. 839 in the House and S. 198 in the Senate would aid economically distressed areas by creating jobs and would close the homeownership gap for minorities by increasing the supply of affordable homes for sale.

Each year the tax credit would produce 50,000 new and rehabilitated homes, 120,000 jobs, $4 billion in wages and $2 billion in taxes and fees. This would more than offset the $2.4 billion the Treasury Department estimates it would cost over five years.

It is of the greatest importance for Congress to act on the homeownership tax credit now.

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