A majority of Americans support changing the mortgage interest deduction to make it more targeted to middle- and low-income homeowners, according to a new poll.

Fifty-six percent of those surveyed favor replacing the mortgage interest deduction with a tax credit that would provide the same percentage benefit for all households regardless of income.  Sixty-three percent support capping the size of mortgages for which one can get a tax break at $500,000.

The poll, conducted in August for the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) by Belden Russonello Strategists, LLC, surveyed 1,006 adults.

“The mortgage interest deduction is very popular, but the American people understand that it can be improved to help more middle- and low-income homeowners. At the same time, the savings from reform can be used to end homelessness and create jobs by building more rental homes that low income families can afford,” said NLIHC President and CEO Sheila Crowley. “The American public is ahead of policymakers on this issue. It is time to enact reforms that will stop the subsidy of million-dollar houses and use the savings to help middle- and low-income families who need it most.”

Americans also believe that the housing needs of Americans are going unmet, according to the NLIHC.

Sixty-eight percent believe that not being able to find affordable housing is a large or very large national problem. Sixty-nine percent favor, including 37 percent who strongly favor, expanding a federal program to build new or rehab existing homes that low-income people can afford to rent.