A Renter’s Tax Credit to Curtail the Affordable Housing Crisis


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

To address the housing affordability crisis for low-income Americans, we argue for a refundable renter’s tax credit. The proposed credit would be delivered through the tax code, reach a broad segment of renters, and target those with high housing cost burdens. We simulate the effects of the credit using Current Population Survey data. The credit would reach nearly 60 percent of poor renters and more than 70 percent of renters facing severe housing cost burdens, the credit amount averaging $2,059. Among recipients, the credit reduces the poverty rate by 12.4 percentage points and the deep poverty rate by 8.8 percentage points. For those who remain poor, it reduces the poverty gap by nearly a third. The annual cost is $24.1 billion.

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