Press Release

As Time Runs Out on First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, Gillibrand Moves for 6 Month Extension

Sep 24, 2009


U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand co-sponsored legislation today that would extend
the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers for another six months. Senator
Gillibrand is joining with Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
and others in the push to extend the tax credit. Economists have cited the
original measure as having been critical to stabilizing the housing
markets.  More than 8,000 New Yorkers took advantage of the credit through
August this year, saving approximately $3.96 million, according to the U.S.
Department of the Treasury.

“These tax credits were the right step
to help bring our housing market back from the brink, but now is not the time
to let up,” Senator Gillibrand said. “As we continue our economic recovery,
this legislation will extend the tax credits to give our housing market more
time to fully stabilize, help rebuild our economy for the long term and help
more first-time buyers afford a home.”

The first-time homebuyer tax credit has been a driving force to shore up the
housing market and spur new buyers. In fact, since the start of this year, the
tax credit has led to over 150,000 new and existing home sales, according to
estimates from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). And Moody’s
Chief Economist Mark Zandi expects the credit to draw nearly 400,000 buyers
into the market by the end of the year. As many as 40 percent of all home
buyers this year will qualify for the credit.

The economic downturn has been a significant barrier for keeping potential
first-time buyers off the market. July’s home sales among first-time buyers
were 10 percent below the average from the past six years, according to the
National Association of Realtors. Unemployment among workers ages 25-34 rose to
10.4 percent — .7 percent above the workforce as a whole – preventing these
young potential buyers from pursuing homeownership.

Senator Gillibrand worked hard to make this tax credit available as part of the
Housing and Economic Recovery Act that Congress passed last year to
stabilize the housing market. Now, she’s pushing to extend the credit to give
the housing market more time to stabilize and help more Americans purchase
their first home.