Imbalance in Housing Aid: Mortgage Interest Deduction vs. Section 8

With the tax reform debate now fully underway, Apartment List examined the popular mortgage interest deduction (MID) and compared federal expenditure on the MID to spending on Section 8 rental assistance programs. In 2015, federal expenditure on the MID was more than double the funding for Section 8. Additionally, the MID is a highly regressive benefit, with 85 percent of expenditure going to high-income households.

The Racial Divide in Homeownership

The “American Dream” has long been tied up with the goal of owning a home, but the fruits of homeownership are not shared equally across demographic groups. Nationwide, 64.4 percent of white households are homeowners, compared to 54 percent of Asian households, 41.1 percent of Hispanic households, and just 32.7 percent of black households. These discrepancies hold true even when controlling for education and income, with black households at the worst disadvantage. We also compare gaps in homeownership rates by race across metros, and find that metros in the Northeast and Midwest have the worst disparity.