WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and the Connecticut Housing Coalition, a NLIHC state partner, have released the findings of a state-wide public opinion poll that measured Connecticut registered voter support for changing the mortgage interest deduction, addressing homelessness, and creating more affordable housing. A majority of registered Connecticut voters surveyed expressed support for increasing federal funding for affordable housing to address homelessness; about half stated that Connecticut has not developed an adequate range of housing choices to meet the needs of all people in the state. Approximately half of participating Connecticut 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 14th through May 20th, 2015 by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research and Belden Russonello Strategists LLC. Seventy-one percent of Connecticut 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; 53% said they would prioritize applying any savings from MID reform to ending homelessness. Fifty-one percent said they would prioritize reducing the federal deficit with those savings.
Forty-seven percent of participating Connecticut voters favored capping the amount of a mortgage against which homeowners can claim a tax break at $500,000 (down from $1 million currently). Just 43% 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. About the same number (47%) opposed such a change.
“Connecticut voters’ support for more federal investments to end homelessness is extremely encouraging,” stated Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “Connecticut’s elected officials should read these polling results as a clear message that Connecticut voters support changes in the mortgage interest deduction.”
Connecticut voters were also asked if they thought Connecticut had an adequate range of housing choices to meet the needs of all people in the state; 49% responded no. Betsy Crum, Executive Director of Connecticut Housing Coalition, stated, “These poling results clearly show that Connecticut voters are behind Governor Malloy’s goal to end homelessness across the state.”
The survey of 625 registered voters in Connecticut 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 14 to 20th, 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.