Federal housing benefits are disproportionately enriching wealthy households, according to a study by Apartment List.
The San Francisco-based company, which runs an apartment listings search engine, analyzed Internal Revenue Service and Housing and Urban Development data. It found a popular tax break, the mortgage interest deduction (MID), cost the federal government $71 billion in 2015, more than double the amount spent on Section 8 funding for low-income renters ($29.9 billion).
Both programs provide housing assistance, but the MID primarily benefits people who are well-off enough to purchase a home and who can profit from the wealth-building aspect of homeownership. Section 8 helps low-income renters such as disadvantaged families, the elderly and disabled. These renters pay the difference between the rent and the subsidy.