Street Roots article: Housing advocates seek cap on Oregon's mortgage interest deduction

Tuesday, February 07, 2017 6:08 PM | Anonymous

Housing advocates seek cap on Oregon's mortgage interest deduction

by Joanne Zuhl | 12 Jan 2017

Oregon’s biggest – and most beloved – housing subsidy is subsidizing the wrong people.

That’s the perspective of a growing coalition of organizations looking to modify Oregon’s mortgage interest deduction, or MID, to make it more equitable for moderate- to lower-income homeowners.

These are the homeowners who need it, they say, not the state’s top 20 percent of income earners, who claim more than 60 percent of the state subsidy in terms of dollars.

“At a time when we are facing a severe housing crisis in Oregon, the biggest housing subsidy in our state is mostly giving money to the most well-off Oregonians – people who already have a home, who are in secure shelter for themselves and really do not need any help from the state to afford a home,” said Juan Carlos Ordóñez, communications director with the Oregon Center for Public Policy, or OCPP. “Reforming the MID is something that should have been done a long time ago. But Oregon’s housing crisis certainly adds urgency to this.”

The OCPP is joining the Oregon Opportunity Network, a statewide coalition of affordable housing and low-income services, in spearheading legislation for the 2017 legislative session in Salem. 

Read the full article here. Update: since this article was published, the coalition proposal changed to increase the cap on the MID to $15,000. And, the coalition has grown with new partners the Children's Agenda, Coalition of Communities of Color, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Enterprise Community Partners, the League of Women Voters of Oregon, and the Welcome Home Coalition!

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