With the cost of housing continuing to rise in California and across the country, Senator Harris recently introduced legislation that would provide rent relief for Americans struggling to make ends meet.
The Rent Relief Act would create a new, refundable tax credit to put more money in the pockets of families at a time when renters’ wages have remained stagnant and housing costs have increased
rapidly.

The middle class is shrinking, and the tax system seems to help more people at the top than at the bottom of the income scale. For the last generation, most Americans haven’t seen their wages rise, but their bills are going up every month, and the costs of housing, healthcare and childcare are pushing more and more families out of the middle class.

“America’s affordable housing crisis has left too many families behind who struggle each month to keep a roof over their head,” said Senator Harris. “This bill will ensure no family is priced out of the basic security of a place to live. Bolstering the economic security of working families would strengthen our country and increase opportunity.”

Under Senator Harris’ Rent Relief Act, the refundable tax credit will be available to:

  • Individuals who live in rental housing and pay more than 30% of their gross income for the taxable year on their rent including utilities.
  • Individuals who live in government-subsidized rental housing, who could claim the value of one month’s rent as a refundable tax credit. Subsidized rent is normally capped at 30% of a person’s income, making them eligible for the tax benefit for rent-burdened residents.

The Rent Relief Act would give much-needed relief to Californians!  Below are a few supporting statements:

  • “Home is not just where we keep a roof over our heads, it’s where we raise families;  become part of a community, and create a lifetime of memories. It’s also where we want  to stay, and Senator Harris’ legislation would help protect millions of families from losing their homes, by expanding benefits and opportunities for people who pay rent every month.”  Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles
  • “Nearly every Oakland resident who pays rent will save money under this law,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. “At a time when our city is fighting the displacement of longtime residents, The Rent Relief Act of 2018 will help working class families, artists, senior aged tenants, and anyone else who struggles to make the rent each month. I’m proud to partner with Sen. Harris to fight California’s cost of living crisis and deliver more affordable housing to all Oaklanders.”  Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of Oakland
  • “Thank you to Senator Harris for acting with urgency, thoughtfulness and creativity to help address the housing crisis that is impacting cities throughout California. This bill would be an important tool to provide real relief for millions of people struggling through no fault of their own.” Mayor Darrell Steinberg, City of Sacramento
  • “Mayors across the country should applaud Senator Harris’ proactive leadership in addressing the housing crisis impacting millions of renters. With the billions in tax subsidies allotted to billionaires through last year’s tax changes, this legislation provides a refreshing contrast for working families who struggle daily.” Mayor Sam Liccardo, City of San Jose

  (For a complete list of supportive statements, visit https://www.harris.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Rent%20Relief%20Endorsements_7.19.pdf )

It’s time to stand up for what is right and ensure that we provide real relief for millions.