U.S. Representative Joe Crowley (D-NY) formally introduced H.R. 3670: Rent Relief Act of 2017, a bill aimed at providing two new refundable tax credits to people who live in rental housing.

The bill was initially announced on Aug. 21 and does not include any co-sponsors. According to Crowley’s press release, 111 million Americans live in rental housing and in New York City, nearly two-thirds of all households are occupied by renters, twice the national average.

 

The bill would aid those who spend more than 30 percent of their gross income on rent by affording them a refundable tax credit by taking into account the household’s annual income, total amount actually spent on rent, and a stimulated rate of the federal government’s established fair market annual rent caps. Those who live in government-subsidized housing could claim the value of one month’s rent as a refundable tax credit.

“The lack of rental affordability isn’t just hurting the working poor – it’s a serious burden on hard-working middle-class families too,” said Crowley in the press release. “Unfortunately, the demand for rental housing continues to outpace supply, and while all signs point to higher rents in the future, wages remain stagnant. Just as the tax code has helped make home ownership more affordable, I believe Congress must provide relief to the growing number of renters who are feeling squeezed financially. That’s why I am introducing the Rent Relief Act.”

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