With plans to change the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) being presented to Congress in hopes of reducing the federal budget deficit, homebuilders, industry and realtor groups are urging the maintenance of the benefit in its full potency. National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) Chairman Bob Jones recently said reducing the benefit of the deduction is simply the wrong approach to the problem. “It would put a huge tax increase on millions of middle-class home owners by eliminating or devaluing the mortgage interest deduction,” Jones says. “The consequences would be devastating for housing and the economy. This would further depress home prices, putting countless more homeowners underwater and triggering a new wave of foreclosures. Eliminating or scaling back this vital housing deduction will shrink the local tax base of many communities, causing already cash-strapped state and local governments to further cut jobs and essential services. Given the extreme fragility of the housing market, with 21 percent of construction workers currently idled, tampering with the mortgage interest deduction is just not sound public policy.” Thayer Long, executive vice president of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) says his group is part of a growing coalition of housing advocacy groups to save the MID. “It’s an important part of maintaining a vibrant homeownership market,” Long says. “Since we are a part of the housing market, and it does help owners of manufactured homes who choose to itemize their taxes, we believe it should be left alone.” The National Association of Realtors (NAR) issued a call to action among its members to call representatives and ask them to defend the MID from any cuts or reduction as outlined in the recent Deficit Commission Report. A recent article in the Dallas Morning News says the deduction puts a $100 billion hole each year in federal revenue.