Tell your legislator that home ownership is still important

Written by Nicholas Serrano. Posted in Home & Garden

Published on September 28, 2011 with No Comments

The recent downturn in the housing industry has impacted all of us in different ways.  Numerous businesses dependent on the housing market have closed their doors and many homeowners have faced their own struggles of fighting to keep their existing home from foreclosure or putting it on the market. 

In the midst of all the turmoil, Americans remain committed to the housing industry and an overwhelming amount remain committed in their belief of homeownership.  As the housing industry continues to fight for its life I hope policymakers continue their support of affordable housing.

The National Association of Home Builders recently conducted a national survey of 2,000 likely voters that gives us a look into the state of the housing industry.  The results are overwhelmingly positive, owning a home is still very much part of the American dream.

Key results from the survey:

•75 percent of voters say that owning a home is the best long-term investment they can make.

•73 percent of voters who do not now own a home say it is a goal of theirs to eventually buy one.

•95 percent of homeowners say they are happy with their decision to own a home, and believe that owning their own home is important.

Respondents cited the biggest barrier for those who want to own a home is money for a down payment and closing costs.  The industry has not only been hit hard due to the economy but has also been facing changes in housing policies by politicians in Washington. 

Tighter lending restrictions and a proposal from federal agencies to create a national qualified residential mortgage (QRM) standard that would require a minimum down payment of 20 percent are not policies that will help the industry rebound or promote affordable housing at a time when 73 percent of voters who responded to the poll believe it is appropriate and reasonable for the federal government to provide tax incentives to encourage homeownership.

The administration and those representing us in Washington have had discussions about ending the mortgage interest deduction which would save the federal government a lot of money but cost many Hoosiers their homes as many rely on the deduction to stay in their homes. The poll found 71 percent of voters oppose such proposals to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction and 63 percent oppose efforts to reduce it.

Lawmakers struggled to reach an agreement on the debt ceiling and, as part of the package, a special congressional committee will recommend ways to make cuts. 

It is very likely eliminating the mortgage interest deduction will be part of these discussions. 

Hopefully our legislators will recognize the need for affordable housing and be aware 57 percent of voters surveyed would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports eliminating the mortgage interest deduction.

While retaining the mortgage interest deduction will not pull the housing industry out of its current crisis, eliminating it will certainly throw it deeper into turmoil.


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