Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sending renters off to war -- literally

As President Obama escalates the war in Afghanistan, deploying tens of thousands of troops, renters are disproportionately bearing the burden of fighting America’s wars.

Approximately 75% of America’s military personnel are renters. This is in sharp contrast to the general figures for rest of the country. While about 65% of Americans are homeowners, a mere 25% of military personnel own their own homes.

At the same time as Americans of all political stripes use rhetoric about “supporting the troops,” our government policies continue to promote homeownership and punish renters. Such policies, such as homebuyers' tax credits with no corresponding credits for renters, disproportionately harm military personnel.

Just once it would be nice to hear a politician who is talking about “supporting the troops” call for tax credits for renters, protections against unfair evictions, greater funding for section 8 vouchers or other polices that would benefit not only military renters, but the millions of other Americans who rent their homes.

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