Expand the HOME Fund by Taxing Mansions

The Home Fund:  The Housing Opportunities for Maine Fund was created in 1982.  In 1986, the Fund was linked to the real estate transfer tax. Maine’s H.O.M.E. Fund is the primary source of funding for affordable housing for people with low incomes, people who are homeless, and people with special needs.  Maine People’s Alliance supports raising the real estate transfer tax, by establishing a bracket structure where real estate worth over a $1 million is subject to a higher tax rate.

The problem:  Monies from the HOME Fund have been taken away in the legislative process almost every year since its creation, resulting in the State being unable adequately to support housing for our Maine’s most vulnerable communities.  As revenues have decreased over the years into the fund, Maine has left millions of federal housing dollars on the table that could be putting people to work housing Maine people.    

Why strengthen it:

  1. Job Creation. Investments in Maine’s housing create jobs, from builders and Realtors to home finishers and landscapers. Jobholders spend money, generating sales tax and property tax revenues for the state and municipalities.  One estimate is that for every housing unit we create, seven jobs are created for a year.

  2. The HOME Fund is able to leverage 10 to 20 times itself in Federal Funds.   With increased revenues the Maine Housing Authority can maximize the leveraging capability of this fund stretching our scarce state resources dramatically.  The HOME Fund is an economic engine for Maine communities; it leverages funds and generates revenue through economic growth and taxes.  

  3. The HOME Fund helps meet a broad array of housing needs – from workforce housing and the first time homebuyers program to senior housing, supportive housing for people who are homeless and/or have special needs, the HOME Fund effectively responds to a wide variety of Maine’s housing needs.    

  4. It’s an investment in the education and health of Maine kids! Higher school-mobility rates affect the entire system and cause the most harm to children whose families have low incomes. Housing instability can have a direct impact on a child’s education. Frequent moves can have a negative effect on school achievement. Pest infestation is known to cause asthma. Substandard electrical problems are a danger to children.  Lead poisoning leads to a decrease in IQs.  Children living in inadequate housing have increased hospitalizations and respiratory infections.


For more information: MaineHousing Report on HOME Fund: http://mainehousing.org/docs/default-source/housing-reports/report-to-the-maine-legislature-on-home-fund-uses---2011-2012.pdf?sfvrsn=6