The Center for Budget Policy Priorities released a number of charts today that shows how much the federal government favors high-income households over low-income ones in housing benefits.
This largely results from the fact that homeowners receive significantly more aid than renters and high-income Americans are much more likely to be homeowners.
In 2012, the federal government gave out $240 billion in housing aid. Income data is not available for all of it, but of what is available, more than half went to those with incomes greater than $100,000 ($81.6 billion). Only $40 billion went to those with incomes less than $50,000.
Overall, high income households receive four times as much in housing aid as low-income ones.
The main reason for this is the majority of federal housing aid flows to homeowners, not renters. The mortgage interest deduction is the most well-known program that subsidizes homeownership. That deduction alone is larger than all federal rental aid combined.
The federal government gave out about $60 billion in housing benefits to renters in 2012. It gave out more than three times that much to homeowners. Low-income households receive the vast majority of that rental aid, but the opposite is true of aid to homeowners. That flows primarily to high-income households. Read more >>