How to Better Encourage Homeownership

Brief

How to Better Encourage Homeownership

Abstract

The way federal housing benefits are doled out suggests a U-shaped curve; subsidies are heaped on most households at higher incomes and some at very low incomes. Those in between get little. This brief describes revenue-neutral reforms that would level out the U-shaped curve and deliver ownership subsidies more equitably and efficiently to lower-to-middle-income households. Converting home-related tax deductions into refundable, capped credits introduces greater progressivity into the tax system, encourages homeownership among those at lower incomes, and curtails government subsidies for ever greater amounts of home borrowing.

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