Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A Call for Action

Smart Growth America and its coalition of real estate developers and investors LOCUS, which represents private-sector development interests from across the United States, present a series of reforms to federal real estate programs.

Taken together, these reforms could save the federal government an estimated $33 billion per year while updating outdated programs to achieve better outcomes for households, communities and taxpayers.

Today’s programs unfairly penalize families who can’t afford or choose not to buy a home, favor single-family homes over other types and provide financial incentives to purchase second homes when many families still struggle to purchase their first. In addition, the majority of funding goes to a small proportion of households, several policies are barriers to forces in today’s marketplace and programs are failing to adequately support existing neighborhoods. Taken as a whole federal real estate programs have not kept pace with the evolving real estate market nor do they pursue of a coherent set of policy goals.

Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A Call to Action proposes policy changes to begin to address these problems. We encourage Congress to improve federal real estate programs in the following ways:

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1. Eliminate some rate subsidies from the National Flood Insurance Program.
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2. Reform the Federal Housing Administration’s single-family home program.
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3. Better target real estate tax expenditures.
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4. Preserve and increase the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.
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5. Improve the Rehabilitation Tax Credit.
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6. Establish individual Mortgage Savings Accounts.
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7. Create an Innovative Financing for Infrastructure Rehabilitation Program.

This platform unites neighborhood advocates, real estate developers and budget hawks. We’re coming together to help middle class families and the communities they live in.

Together, we can help more people have access to affordable homes and save for their first down payment. We can leverage private investment to rebuild America’s infrastructure, and we can revitalize communities across the country.

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Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A Call for Action
Download Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A Call for Action, including the report’s full recommendations with all figures and appendices.

Click here to download the full report (PDF)

Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A Call for Action – Executive Summary
Read a brief overview of the report’s findings.

Click here to download the Executive Summary (PDF)

Changing real estate programs would benefit families and communities.
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Read the companion report
This report builds on Smart Growth America’s January 2013 report, Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A Call for Examination, which examined the federal government’s current spending and commitment to real estate programs each year. Read that report >>