Who Benefits from Housing Subsidies?

We all hear politicians talk about housing subsidies fairly frequently. Some have very negative things to say about residents of various programs that receive housing subsidies. Others advocate for more subsidies to help low-income Americans. But at the end of the day, who really benefits most from housing subsidies?

“It’s almost the first of the month, and that means rent’s due. That rent or mortgage check is the single biggest expense in most Americans’ budgets, so it’s no wonder that Congress directs a ton of federal dollars to housing. But what should be surprising—and infuriating—is that a lot of this support goes to housing the wealthy, while very little goes to those who need help landing a stable home.” -David Meni & Ezra Levin writing for Greater Greater Washington

It would seem that our subsidies are being used to help house the very wealthy, while we find ourselves in the midst of what essentially is an affordable housing crisis. How could we change this situation to better utilize the subsidies?

“It’s not hard to think up a better way to spend $90 billion. We could redirect this spending to help lower-income Americans save for a down payment, or use some of these funds to create a first-time homebuyer credit, or create a simple refundable credit for all homeowners. Or all of the above. That’s the focus of the Turn it Right-Side Up campaign, which zeroes in on reforming unfair tax programs like these homeownership credits.”

The article by Meni and Levin is a very interesting read! We highly recommend you check it out here. What do you think about their analysis? How would you change the subsidies to better provide affordable housing?

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