But even in urban areas like Portsmouth or Georgetown, where the percentage of home owners is higher, we are still well below the national average.
Affordable Housing Shortage a Primary Problem
There is more we can do in terms of educating people on the advantages of owning your own home and helping on downpayments and securing mortgages. But one of the primary problems in our area is that there is a shortage of affordable homes in many inner-city and rural areas.
One of the biggest problems with fixing up older homes is that the renovation costs can be greater than what the home would be worth. If a builder or investor knows that they are going to lose money on a home, they will obviously look for somewhere else to build.
To address this problem, I have introduced legislation to make it more attractive for developers to create affordable housing in certain urban and rural areas.
A Tax Credit for Developers and Investors
The Renewing the Dream Homeownership Tax Credit Act would make a tax credit available to developers or investors that build or rehabilitate homes for sale to low- and moderate-income buyers in these areas.
For example, under the legislation the State of Ohio would receive more than $100 million in federal tax credits over the next five years. The state would then review projects proposed by developers for the construction or renovation of homes that qualify under the program, and make decisions on how to allocate the credits to developers.
When people buy a home, they make an investment in that community. This helps lead to increases in business development and decreases in crime. Strong homeownership is key to building strong communities, and I will continue to work on ways to increase homeownership throughout Southern Ohio and the nation.
Rep. Rob Portman (R-OH) is serving his sixth term as the representative of the Second Congressional District in Southern Ohio. He is a member of the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees. As chairman of the Republican leadership, he is liaison with the Bush Administration.
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