Renters’ Tax Credit: A Viable Tool for Affordable Housing

Renters’ Tax Credit: A Viable Tool for Affordable Housing

By Lisa Schliff

Nevada County hasn’t escaped the American housing crisis. Since 1960, renters’ median earnings throughout the nation have gone up 5 percent while rents have risen by 61 percent. Workers earning the prevailing minimum wage can’t afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in America. Across the U.S., there is a shortage of seven million rental homes for very low-income renters. Three out of four eligible low-income households are denied Federal Housing Assistance.

But there are solutions to the housing crisis. One idea is to create a renters’ tax credit. Currently, the tax code invests billions in helping homeowners, but renters are left out. With a renters’ credit low-income renters would get a tax credit for rent paid above 30% of their household income. It is a way for many households to be raised above the poverty line. The implications are powerful for low-income families. Money will then be available for more food, medications, transportation, school costs and other vital needs for day-to-day living.

Now is the time to call or e-mail our Member of Congress and let him know that the renter’s tax credit will make a difference in the lives of people in our area. Stable housing for Nevada County’s residents will improve our communities. Adults work more efficiently and children do better in school when they are eating and sleeping well. We can advocate for them by making our voices heard by our elected officials.

One Comment on “Renters’ Tax Credit: A Viable Tool for Affordable Housing”

  1. Most low income families don’t have any tax liability so they wouldn’t benefit from a tax credit. What we need is rent control. Nearly $1,000 for a 1 bedroom apartment is ridiculous. The wealthy can buy up properties and charge whatever they want, forcing rents up. And people on Social Security who don’t pay income tax don’t have a prayer of getting an affordable rental. There are too few buildings designated for low income renters and as you know the waiting list is upwards of 3 years. No. Renter’s tax credit is not the answer. Start talking about affordable rentals.

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