The $15,000 Questions: Who Do Downpayment Assistance Programs Help and How Should they Be Designed?
The Biden administration is proposing a $15,000 downpayment tax credit to help potential homebuyers who can afford monthly mortgage payments but do not have savings for a downpayment. In this seminar, researchers will discuss two Center-supported projects focused on who might be aided by downpayment assistance and the choices policymakers will need to make as they move forward with the plan. Raheem Hanifa, a Center research analyst, will discuss research he is doing (with Chris Herbert and Daniel McCue) on the demographics of renters who would most benefit from downpayment assistance, as well as the regional differences in the share of required downpayments that would be covered by $15,000 in assistance. Benjamin Ward, a former Center researcher, will discuss his research into downpayment assistance programs in four other countries – Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand – and how those programs illustrate the key design choices that US policymakers will have to make as they move forward with the Biden proposal.