Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

In the Media


Designing a Nationwide Downpayment Assistance Program

In this paper, Benjamin Ward makes a set of recommendations intended to help policymakers design a scalable nation-wide downpayment assistance program in the United States. Specifically, the paper focuses on improvements to the downpayment tax credit that President Biden announced as part of his presidential campaign.

Health Spending Among Older Adults Before and After Mortgage Payoff

Older adult homeowners increasingly carry mortgage debt into retirement. The share of homeowners aged 65 and older with outstanding mortgages doubled between 1989 and 2016, while the outstanding loan to value ratio tripled from 13 to 39 percent over the same period. As part of a broader research agenda exploring links between mortgage debt, older adult welfare and equity, this research identifies changes in out-of-pocket health care spending around the time of mortgage payoff.

The Impact of the Pandemic on Landlords: Evidence from Two National Surveys

The pandemic’s financial consequences have been disproportionately borne by the nation’s renters, who have been more likely to report lost income due to the pandemic and to miss housing payments as a result. These missed rental payments also have implications for the nation’s landlords, but much less is known about how they have fared and how they have responded to this significant shortfall in rent collections.