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Rum_Pirate
10-02-2018, 07:54 AM
...
July 19, 2018Amid Rising Costs of Housing, Harris Introduces Bill to Provide Rent ReliefWASHINGTON, D.C. - With the cost of housing continuing to rise in California and across the country, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris today introduced legislation to provide rent relief for working families struggling to pay their bills. The Rent Relief Act would create a new, refundable tax credit to put more money in the pockets of families at a time when renters’ wages have remained stagnant and housing costs have increased rapidly. Harris was joined in the introduction by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).
“America’s affordable housing crisis has left too many families behind who struggle each month to keep a roof over their head,” said Senator Harris. “This bill will ensure no family is priced out of the basic security of a place to live. Bolstering the economic security of working families would strengthen our country and increase opportunity.”
“This bill would help more than 140,000 low-income Connecticut families struggling to pay rent each month, providing them much needed relief and flexibility to spend on other vital needs like health care and putting the American Dream within closer reach,” said Senator Blumenthal. “For far too many in Connecticut and across the country, rising rents and flat paychecks prevent them from enjoying the basic, fundamental human right to affordable housing.”
“As far too many families scramble to afford the cost of living, we must keep working to find solutions to our affordable housing crisis,” said Senator Hassan. “I’ve heard from businesses across our state that one of their most pressing challenges is a shortage of affordable housing for their prospective employees. This common-sense bill would create a refundable tax credit to help bring relief to families who struggle to afford their rent and expand economic opportunity for hard-working Granite Staters and Americans.”
“The lack of affordable housing is a national emergency,” said Matthew Desmond, Author of “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. “Senator Harris is bringing heightened awareness to a crisis that’s been ignored for far too long. The Rent Relief Act reflects a strong commitment to ensuring that all Americans have access to a safe and affordable home.”
A report (http://nlihc.org/research/gap-report) by the National Low Income Housing Coalition illustrates that there is a shortage of 7.4 million affordable rental units for America’s 11.4 million extremely low-income families. According to California’s Department of Housing and Community Development (http://www.hcd.ca.gov/policy-research/plans-reports/docs/California's-Housing-Future-Main-Document-Draft.pdf), nearly 1/3 of California renters (3 million California households) are rent burdened, and California has the third highest rents in the country (http://nlihc.org/oor/california). More than 1.5 million households are severely rent burdened and more Americans than ever are renters. The share of US households that were renters climbed to 35 percent in 2012 (http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/jchs_americas_rental_housing_2013_1_0.pdf), up from 31 percent in 2004.
Under Harris’ Rent Relief Act, the refundable tax credit will be available to individuals who live in rental housing and pay more than 30% of their gross income for the taxable year on their rent including utilities. Eligible individuals would qualify for the tax benefit by determining the total amount spent yearly on rent, taking into account the family’s annual income, and a rate of the federal government’s established fair market rent controls.
Individuals who live in government-subsidized rental housing could claim the value of one month’s rent as a refundable tax credit. Subsidized rent is normally capped at 30% of a person’s income, making them eligible for the tax benefit for rent-burdened residents. The Rent Relief Act would give much-needed relief to lower income residents.
The Rent Relief Act is supported by: the National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Fair Housing of California, and the National Housing Law Project
"I applaud Senator Harris for her leadership in introducing this innovative, bold proposal, which would help struggling families who today face impossible choices between paying rent and meeting their other basic needs, including putting groceries on the table and taking care of their health,” said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “A new tax credit for renters - like the one proposed by Senator Harris - could transform lives, providing millions of the lowest income people with the breadth of opportunities that start with an affordable home - opportunities to climb the economic ladder, improve their health, and allow children to do better in school."
“Home is not just where we keep a roof over our heads — it’s where we raise families, become part of a community, and create a lifetime of memories,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “It’s also where we want to stay, and Senator Harris’ legislation would help protect millions of families from losing their homes, by expanding benefits and opportunities for people who pay rent every month.”
“Nearly every Oakland resident who pays rent will save money under this law,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “At a time when our city is fighting the displacement of long-time residents, The Rent Relief Act of 2018 will help working class families, artists, senior-aged tenants, and anyone else who struggles to make the rent each month. I’m proud to partner with Sen. Harris to fight California’s cost of living crisis and deliver more affordable housing to all Oaklanders.”
“Thank you to Senator Harris for acting with urgency, thoughtfulness and creativity to help address the housing crisis that is impacting cities throughout California,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “This bill would be an important tool to provide real relief for millions of people struggling through no fault of their own.”
“Mayors across the country should applaud Senator Harris’ proactive leadership in addressing the housing crisis impacting millions of renters,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “With the billions in tax subsidies allotted to billionaires through last year’s tax changes, this legislation provides a refreshing contrast for working families who struggle daily.”
“In Stockton, one in two residents will pay over 30% of their income to housing,” said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. “We have seen some of the highest rent increases in the nation, making even finding a place to live a major challenge. It will take solutions from both State and Federal officials, as well as creative improvements locally, to help solve this housing crisis. I am incredibly thankful that Senator Harris is helping to lead the way with the Rent Relief Act.”
For a full list of supportive statements, click here (https://www.harris.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Rent%20Relief%20Endorsements_7.19.pdf).
Text of the legislation can be found here (https://www.harris.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/OTT182191.7.19.pdf).
A fact sheet on the bill can be found here (https://www.harris.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/One%20Pager%20-%20Rent%20Relief%20Act%207.19.pdf).https://www.harris.senate.gov/news/press-releases/amid-rising-costs-of-housing-harris-introduces-bill-to-provide-rent-relief

Anyone see any problems arising?

Is it feasible?

Rum_Pirate
10-02-2018, 07:59 AM
I forund this:


These Senators Want to Lower Your Rent

Too bad their plans won’t work.

By HENRY GRABAR (https://slate.com/author/henry-grabar)
AUG 04, 20185:55 AM

California Sen. Kamala Harris released a bill last month intended to help Americans pay the rent. The plan would give tens of billions in tax credits to approximately 20 million rent-burdened American households.
The 2018 presidential hopeful’s “Rent Relief Act” is co-sponsored by Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Richard Blumenthal, and Maggie Hassan, and has the endorsement (https://www.harris.senate.gov/news/press-releases/amid-rising-costs-of-housing-harris-introduces-bill-to-provide-rent-relief) of an array of fair-housing groups, big-city mayors like Los Angeles’ Eric Garcetti, and housing expert Matthew Desmond, the Pulitzer-winning author of Evicted (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0553447432/?tag=slatmaga-20). Harris’ bill would give renters what homeowners (with mortgages) have long enjoyed: a tax credit based on the value of their home.

Just as deductions for mortgage interest and local property taxes drive up home prices, however, a tax credit for high rents might prop up high rents. If the federal government agrees to cover all your rent payments in excess of $600 a month (as Harris’ plan would, for a low-income tenant in a high-cost city), why wouldn’t you rent a $1,800 a month apartment? Or, more worryingly, why wouldn’t your landlord immediately raise your rent to $1,800 to take advantage of the federal subsidy?


Harris’ bill has some limits that address that issue, but its negative reception among some economic analysts is a reminder
of (https://twitter.com/jenny_schuetz/status/1024650740835512320) how hard
it is to address housing affordability as a national problem.

Some cities are growing and some shrinking; in some places houses are too expensive, and in others they are too cheap.

Even as Democratic senators argue for a long-overdue expansion in federal rental assistance, some economists say the more fundamental problem is with a historically short housing supply.
The housing affordability crisis, which has dominated big-city politics and (https://twitter.com/adamdavidson/status/1024444182327435264)cropped up
in state races in California, New York, and Illinois, is finally becoming an issue for national Democrats—and it’s not going to be pretty.
(https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/07/19/rents-soar-democrats-push-new-policies-affordable-housing/?utm_term=.aba4f9eadb6f)
For Dems, this new focus on the concerns of the base makes a cynical kind of sense.
Renters’ costs have abated somewhat since 2016—when this issue played no role in a marathon presidential campaign—but Democrats are newly aware that their Achilles’ heel is voter turnout. Young Americans, left-leaning and vote-shy, are locked out of homeownership by record-high home prices and low incomes, and struggling with rising rents. That is, if they’ve managed to get their own place: A record share live with parents or relatives.
A record share also live with friends or strangers. Historically speaking, this is not normal: Nearly half of American renters are cost-burdened today, paying more than 30 percent of their income in rent, up from a quarter in the 1960s.
And while the problem is most severe for low-income families, it persists up the wage ladder to include, in the most expensive cities, households making six figures.


Nationwide, rents and incomes are diverging. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies annual report (http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/Harvard_JCHS_State_of_the_Nations_Housing_2018.pdf )
, “the median rent payment rose 61 percent between 1960 and 2016 while the median renter income grew only 5 percent.” Making incomes rise is hard. Is making rents fall any easier?

If this bill is any guide, the answer is: no.

Harris includes a sliding income scale in her plan, so that even individuals earning up to $100,000 can get a discount on what they pay above 30 percent of their income in rent.

She’s right to recognize that the rent crisis isn’t confined to low-income households. But it’s the low-income rent crisis that’s common to all U.S. cities. The hassle for people making six figures tends to occur mainly in places like New York and San Francisco, and you can imagine why a senator from Missouri might balk at helping out a Facebook employee in Manhattan.



The Harris plan would only apply to rents less than 150 percent of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Market Rent, which the department assesses annually for each metro area. This is smart; it means that luxury rentals won’t qualify for subsidy. But the outlay would still vary widely from place to place.

In New York City, for example, the one-bedroom FMR is $1,558; 150 percent of that is $2,337. For Marie J. Tenant, a hypothetical renter making $40,000, affordable rent is anything below $1,000 a month. Under the Harris plan, Washington would cover 75 percent of the difference between that and her actual rent, which could wind up being a subsidy of as much as $12,000 a year.

Put another way: For every dollar in rent between $1,000 and $2,337, Marie only pays a quarter to Washington’s 75 cents.

In Cleveland, by contrast, the one-bedroom FMR is $634, and 150 percent of that is $951. No one with an income of $40,000 would qualify for rent relief in Cleveland.

The policy would also create some perverse incentives for tenants and landlords alike, potentially driving up rents as landlords seek to maximize government aid. One precedent for this can be found in the Section 8 policy (https://archives.hud.gov/news/2016/pr16-173.cfm), where the level of federal subsidy does indeed appear to warp local markets. In 2000, HUD raised its funding limit from the 40th percentile of regional rent to the 50th.
Instead of opening up new, more expensive neighborhoods to voucher recipients, the policy wound up (http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/06/17/a_new_section_8_policy_will_help_poor_families_mov e_into_better_neighborhoods.html)“artificially inflating rents in some higher-poverty neighborhoods” where voucher recipients are concentrated. In high-cost cities, the Harris plan would be such a fire hose of cash that the effect would likely be to raise rents citywide—with landlords as the primary beneficiaries.
You can see how the plan might spiral out of control.
Rising rents would boost the region’s Fair Market Rent, triggering more subsidy. And so on.In September 2018, AllSides conducted an editorial review (https://www.allsides.com/media-bias/media-bias-rating-methods) of Slate. We decided to move Slate from a Lean Left media bias (https://www.allsides.com/media-bias/left-center) rating to a Left media bias (https://www.allsides.com/media-bias/left) rating
https://www.allsides.com/news-source/slate

Norman Bernstein
10-02-2018, 08:13 AM
I can't speak to the practicality of this proposal.... and I'm not sure if the criticism is accurate, or not. Plenty of laws get passed which unfortunately carry negative side effects... but many laws DO account for the economic disruptions, and have provisions in place to deal with them. I don't know if such is the case with this particular proposal.....

....however, the problem with accelerating rents in the midst of stagnant wages, is a real one... that deserves SOME sort of answer, and some sort of solution. We seem to often provide tax-supported relief to the people who neither need, nor deserve, support.... such as Trump's tax cut, directing huge amounts of tax relief to the wealthiest Americans. Yet, suggestions for economic relief for folks at the low end of the economic scale are often characterized as welfare for the 'undeserving'.

Tom Montgomery
10-02-2018, 09:03 AM
... the problem with accelerating rents in the midst of stagnant wages, is a real one... that deserves SOME sort of answer, and some sort of solution.This will never happen so long as Republicans are in control of the Congress, the Whitehouse, and States across the land.


We seem to often provide tax-supported relief to the people who neither need, nor deserve, support.... such as Trump's tax cut, directing huge amounts of tax relief to the wealthiest Americans.That is the Republican agenda.


Yet, suggestions for economic relief for folks at the low end of the economic scale are often characterized as welfare for the 'undeserving'.Economic relief for folks at the low end of the economic scale is not on the Republican's agenda.

VOTE!

Ted Hoppe
10-02-2018, 09:23 AM
It Harris is addressing what is happening in her state. All over California the renters are being squeezed - no chance to buy a home and rents so obsene that many might never make enough. Thousands of families are living in cars, living in tough sheds disputes working. only in the United States do most politicians say housing is not a right.

Yeah, you can say that people should move. Fact is they are not. The wealthiest people who own small businesses are not moving away from thier quality of life. They are not giving thier employees good local wages. That leaves the goverment to come up with solutions.

Here in Northern California, politicians are starting to build subsidized housing for teachers and police so they can live in the communities they serve. To qualify, ones family income must be under $150,000 a year.

Too Little Time
10-02-2018, 11:04 AM
Anyone see any problems arising? Is it feasible?
The big problem is:

pay more than 30% of their gross income
The economics are wrong. The math is wrong. So wrong it almost defies explanation. Compare 2 households, one with income of $50K/year and one with $100K/year in the same area. They could spend the same amount on all their wants and needs. But the percentages spent would be different. For similar reasons poor people have always paid a higher percentage for housing and everything else than rich people. Equally important is that while households may move to better accommodations as their economic condition improves, they don't do so with the intent of maintaining housing at 30% of their income.

There are better ways to assist those in need.

oznabrag
10-02-2018, 11:09 AM
.

Anyone see any problems arising?

Is it feasible?

The problem has already arisen.

If no-one were allowed to own more than a few dwellings, we wouldn't have this problem.

Tom Montgomery
10-02-2018, 11:09 AM
The problem is the lack of desire among those who currently control the halls of Congress and the White House to assist those in need in any way. Debating one solution or another ignores the fact that those in power are not interested in a solution to this problem. That is if they will even recognize the existence of the problem.

VOTE for those who will recognize the problem and attempt solutions.

Ted Hoppe
10-02-2018, 11:21 AM
The big problem is:

The economics are wrong. The math is wrong. So wrong it almost defies explanation. Compare 2 households, one with income of $50K/year and one with $100K/year in the same area. They could spend the same amount on all their wants and needs. But the percentages spent would be different. For similar reasons poor people have always paid a higher percentage for housing and everything else than rich people. Equally important is that while households may move to better accommodations as their economic condition improves, they don't do so with the intent of maintaining housing at 30% of their income.

There are better ways to assist those in need.

There is 2 different economies. There are those who make a lot of money and those who don't. Those who don't hold bad debt to just keep their economy going.

It takes a minimum $117,000 a year in many places in California. nearly the same along the eastern seaboard or up near where the jobs are in the PNW.

A 50,000 a year for family is poor no matter where you live. Modest living in a consumer economy means one misses out of the best pieces of quality of modern life. Every media and branding piece one comes in contact with are reminded how much one is missing out. The fact of the matter is one can't have it all. Some have to live in places that are flat, lack water or have no great promise in an ever changing world. And which person with aspirations actually wants to live in a backwater with low prospects?

Rent subsidies is only part of the solution in a places where people can live a greater quality of life and have a chance of a great, worthwhile career.

Rum_Pirate
10-02-2018, 01:46 PM
The problem has already arisen.

If no-one were allowed to own more than a few dwellings, we wouldn't have this problem.
How many is a 'few' ?

oznabrag
10-02-2018, 01:57 PM
How many is a 'few' ?

Less.

Greed is not good.

How about this.

If you want to own three rent houses, go ahead. Charge what you want to.

If you want more rental income than that, the rents you charge must be tied to wages.

If 20% of the jobs in the area pay 'X', then rents on 20% of your rental property must not exceed 25% of 'X'.

Another 30% of the jobs pay 'Y', then rents on 30% of your rental property must not exceed 25% of 'Y'.

Don't like it?

Go into another business.

John Smith
10-02-2018, 02:10 PM
I've asked before: Why should those who own 90% of the wealth pay 90% of the taxes? If they pay less, who pays more?

There are many ways to 'pay more'

This thread addresses one of them.