Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

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REPORTS & PAPERS

America's Rental Housing 2022

Rental housing demand came roaring back in the second year of the pandemic, reducing vacancy rates and driving up rents. However, lower-income households that took the brunt of job losses still struggle to make rent, reinforcing the stark divide between higher- and lower-income households. The need for a permanent, fully funded housing safety net is more urgent than ever, and a key element of that support must be to protect existing rental housing from the threat of climate change.

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.

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