President Trump Vows to Strengthen Middle-Class Housing

National Homeownership Month kicks off this month, and President Donald Trump is pledging to strengthen the middle class by reducing rules and regulations and cutting taxes that he believes will help them become homeowners.

Read about NAR’s take on this: Impact of Tax Reform Options on Owner-Occupied Housing

This year’s theme for National Homeownership Month is “Find Your Place in a New Era of Homeownership.”

“For generations of Americans, owning a home has been an essential element in achieving the American dream,” Trump wrote in a proclamation. “Homeownership is often the foundation of security and prosperity for families and communities and an enduring symbol of American freedom. These policies will unshackle our economy and create and sustain high-paying jobs so that more Americans have the resources and freedom they deserve to fulfill their American dream.”

Trump acknowledged many of the roadblocks young families and minorities are facing in saving up for a down payment and their struggle to access to credit. HUD Secretary Ben Carson at a recent forum on U.S. homeownership also addressed the challenges millennials are facing when trying to attain homeownership.

“We recognize the abiding value of owning a home, and rededicate ourselves toward ensuring that every hardworking and creditworthy American enjoys a fair chance at becoming a homeowner,” Carson said in a statement.

The nation’s homeownership rate fell to 63.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017, down from 69.1 percent at the market’s peak in 2005, according to U.S. Census data.

Some housing experts are skeptical that Trump’s policies will lead to more Americans being able to purchase homes. For example, Ken Johnson, a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla., pointed to Trump’s proposal to double the standard deduction that taxpayers can use to lower the tax burden. He believes this could diminish the value of the mortgage interest deduction that homeowners use to lower their costs.

“The larger standard deduction should noticeably minimize the demand for homeownership,” Johnson says.

Source: “President Trump to Americans: Happy National Homeownership Month,”® (June 1, 2017)

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