June 15, 2011 (Brian Moore)

A recent survey on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that American voters are in no mood to have their long standing housing tax breaks messed with as 71 percent of the voters surveyed opposed eliminating the mortgage interest deduction and 63 percent opposed any efforts to reduce it.

Home equity loans and lines of credit were also sacred cows as a majority of the voters surveyed were also against cutting deductions on these second mortgages. A majority of the voters also rejected the elimination of the deduction for interest paid for a loan on a second home and limiting the amount of the deduction for those earning more than $250,000 per year or capping the deduction for home owners with mortgages over $500,000.

Candidates from either political party would suffer greatly if they supported eliminating the mortgage interest deduction with 63 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of Independents, 55 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of tea party supporters saying they would be less likely to support a candidate who favored killing the deduction.

When voters were asked if they believe the federal government should provide tax incentives to help promote homeownership, 79 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of Independents agreed that they should.

Voters in the survey also tended to disagree with what Washington policymakers have been proposing as fixes for the housing crisis. In regards to the raising the down payment requirements for a home loan, 92 percent believe that the requirements being discussed would make it difficult to buy a home.

Among voters who would be most likely affected by the “Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM)” requirement, mortgage holders and renters ages 18 to 54, the survey found 59 percent of the renters and 58 percent of those currently holding a mortgage opposed the QRM requirement and regarded it as an obstacle to buying a home.

“Those in Congress who believe that homeownership and housing choice should no longer be national priorities would be well-served to study the results of this poll and hear what the American people think,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev. “To put it another way, America’s voters have spoken. If Congress abandons policies to support the goal of homeownership and to keep housing affordable, lawmakers could be in for a rude awakening in the 2012 elections.”

Tags: NAHB, mortgage interest deduction, housing tax breaks, home equity loans, lines of credit, second mortgages, political parties, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Tea Party