(Credit: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Low-income Americans are already struggling to keep a roof over their heads due to a growing affordable housing shortage.
But budgets drafted by the Trump administration and Congress, along with provisions in the tax cut package, are bound to make matters worse.
As a researcher who studies the intersection of tax law and housing policy, I am concerned about how these proposed changes would reduce the volume of new housing for low-income people and cut aid that people facing economic hardship use to cover their rent.
Spending on housing
The federal government stopped building public housing two decades ago after years of declining construction. Although it has demolished many of these homes, the government continues to own and rent out about 1.1 million of these units.
Nowadays, the government mostly seeks to help make privately owned and operated housing affordable by providing rental assistance to low-income tenants. The main way it does that is by funding the US$19.3 billion Housing Choice Voucher program through which eligible tenants get help paying their rent.
The federal government also subsidizes the construction of privately owned and operated housing units that are officially designated as “affordable.” Private sector …read more