News Analysis

Feds' Spending on Real Estate Worsens Sprawl, Inequality

The excluded middle class

“There are a couple of uneven impacts,” says Ilana Preuss, vice president and chief of staff at Smart Growth America, which released the findings. “There is a huge amount of focus on homeownership” in one of the largest programs, the $79 billion-a-year mortgage interest deduction, she noted, but that program “doesn’t really support expansion of homeownership. It encourages people to buy more house as opposed to being able to buy a house.”

Additionally, the deduction “only provides support to people who itemize their tax deductions,” she said. And while there are rental-assistance programs that support the very poor, “middle-class renters trying to become homeowners or middle-class homeowners who don’t itemize get no support from federal programs.”

Published June 3, 2013