WalletHub: Ask the Experts

Casius Pealer

Casius Pealer, director of Tulane's Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development and adjunct lecturer in the joint MBA/MSRED program, was interviewed for a WalletHub “Ask the Experts” Q&A on the best and worst cities for first-time home buyers. Pealer addressed what first-time home buyers should look for in a neighborhood and how federal, state, and local policymakers can make homebuying more affordable for first-time homebuyers.

Eliminating the mortgage interest tax deduction (which exacerbates racial income and wealth inequality) and using the additional revenue to expand income-based subsidies would be a good step. Although greatly-reduced in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the mortgage interest tax deduction still accounts for approximately $40 billion in tax expenditures for the federal government and largely goes to taxpayers making over $200,000/year. By contrast, HUD's entire FY20 budget for all low- and moderate-income housing programs, including staffing and operations was just $56 billion.

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