Oregon Voters Express Strong Support for More Federal Funding to Increase Affordable Housing to Address Homelessness


WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and the Oregon Opportunity Network, a NLIHC state partner, released the findings of a state-wide public opinion poll that measured Oregon registered voter support for changing the mortgage interest deduction, addressing homelessness, and creating more affordable housing. A sizable majority of registered Oregon voters surveyed expressed support for increasing federal funding for affordable housing to address homelessness and for increased state investments in building homes for homeless and low-income families. Most Oregon voters also expressed support for reforms to the mortgage interest deduction that would generate resources to be used to address homelessness.

The polling was conducted from May 26-28, 2015 by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research and Belden Russonello Strategists LLC. Fifty-nine percent of Oregon voters polled supported increasing federal funding for affordable housing to help end homelessness. While most respondents expressed support for the mortgage interest deduction (MID), they also expressed considerable support for reforms that would make the deduction fairer and less regressive, and more Oregonian voters would dedicate the dollars saved to ending homelessness rather than to lowering federal income taxes.

Fifty-seven percent of Oregon voters favored capping the amount of a mortgage against which homeowners can claim a tax break to $500,000 (down from $1 million currently). Only 34% opposed lowering the cap. Forty-five percent supported replacing the mortgage interest deduction (which only those who earn enough to itemize on their taxes can claim and that disproportionately benefits households in the highest tax brackets) with a 15% tax credit that all homeowners with a mortgage could claim. Forty-three percent opposed such a change.

“Oregon voters’ support for smart investments to end homelessness is extremely encouraging,” stated Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “With these modest changes to the mortgage interest deduction, we could end homelessness in Oregon and nationally without any additional cost to the federal government.”

Fifty-seven percent of Oregon voters also said they supported the Governor’s recent efforts to increase state bond funding to build new homes for homeless and low-income families in the state. On June 6, the Oregon state legislature passed an unprecedented $60 million bond initiative to fund affordable housing programs. “This poll confirms the strong support that voters in Oregon have for increases in both federal and state funding to end homelessness and housing instability in our state,” said John Miller, Executive Director of Oregon Opportunity Network.

The survey of 625 registered voters in Oregon was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research of Washington, DC and Jacksonville, Florida, from questions written by Belden Russonello Strategists LLC of Washington, DC. Interviews were conducted by telephone, both landlines and cell phones, from May 26 through May 28, 2015. The margin of sampling error for a random sample survey of this size is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

To read all details of the survey, please click the following link: http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/combined_presentation_071515.pdf

Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest income in the United States have affordable and decent homes.

Oregon Opportunity Network (Oregon ON) is a 501(c)(3) statewide association of affordable housing and community development organizations that provide housing and economic opportunity for working families, people with disabilities, seniors and others struggling to meet their needs in communities throughout Oregon. Our vision is that all Oregonians have the opportunity to succeed in life.

National Low Income Housing Coalition
1000 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 500, Washington DC 20005
202/662-1530; Fax 202/393-1973; www.nlihc.org

Oregon Opportunity Network
847 NE 19th, Ste 150
Portland, OR 97232-2686
(503) 223-4041; Fax: (503) 335-0475

Renee Willis, (202) 662-1530 x247
Desi Bellamy, Communications and Development Manager (503) 223-4041 x103

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