More Than 2,150 Organizations and Businesses Send Letter to Congress in Support of the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds

The ACTION Campaign sent a letter to Congress today on behalf of more than 2,150 national, state and local organizations and businesses thanking Republican leadership for recognizing the value of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) in the “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code,” and urging lawmakers to not only preserve the credit, but to include the following provisions to strengthen and modernize our affordable housing delivery system:

  • Retain the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds,
  • Enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, and
  • Make adjustments to the Housing Credit to ensure its production potential is not negatively impacted by other changes in tax reform.

Read the letter and view a list of signatories here.

The Housing Credit was one of only two corporate tax expenditures that the Administration and Congressional Republican leadership explicitly proposed to retained in their tax reform framework, noting that it is a tax incentive that has “proven to be effective in promoting policy goals important in the American economy.” However, the framework was silent on multifamily Housing Bonds and private activity bonds generally. It is our understanding from various reports that the authors of the framework have a general agreement to fully retain the tax-exemption on municipal bonds, which include Housing Bonds, but now is a critical time to reinforce the importance of doing so.

Now that the House and Senate have passed their respective budget resolutions that lay the groundwork for tax reform, the House is expected to vote on the Senate's version next week, after which the House and Senate tax-writing committees will move quickly to try to finalize tax reform before the end of the year. The House Ways and Means Committee is aiming to hold a markup of a tax bill in the next few weeks, with the Senate to follow soon after. The coming weeks and months, as congressional tax-writers finalize these details, will be critical for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds.

We thank all new organizations and businesses for joining the ACTION Campaign and urge all ACTION members to visit our Advocacy Toolkit to find resources to advocate for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds.

Deadline Extended to Sign on to Support the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in Tax Reform

The deadline to sign on to the ACTION Campaign letter to Congress and the Administration has been extended to Tuesday, October 17. Please sign on and share with your networks today. Thank you to everyone who has already signed on to show strong support for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in tax reform.

The letter thanks Republican congressional and administration leadership for recognizing the value of the Housing Credit in their unified framework for tax reform, and urges them to not only preserve the credit, but to include the following provisions to strengthen and modernize our affordable housing delivery system:

  • Retain the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds,
  • Enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, and
  • Make adjustments to the Housing Credit to ensure its production potential is not negatively impacted by other changes in tax reform.

Read the letter, sign on and share.

There are currently 2,103 organizations and businesses signed on to the letter in support of the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds. Please check the list of ACTION members to make sure that your organization has signed on, and share the letter with your networks to help us show broad support for the Housing Credit. 

If you have any questions or want to remove your organization from the letter, contact Emily Cadik at ecadik@enterprisecommunity.org before the October 17 deadline.    

Sign on to Support the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in Tax Reform

Administration and Congressional Republican leadership recently released their “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code,” which proposes to lower the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent, eliminate most corporate tax expenditures in order to help achieve the lower rate, and make numerous other changes to the existing tax system.

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) is one of only two corporate tax expenditures that the framework explicitly proposes to retain, noting that it is a tax incentive that has “proven to be effective in promoting policy goals important in the American economy.” While the framework does not speak to multifamily Housing Bonds, it is our understanding from various reports that the authors of the framework have a general agreement to fully retain the tax-exemption on municipal bonds, which include Housing Bonds. Read more about the framework and its impact on affordable housing.

Now that the framework has been released, the House and Senate tax-writing committees are negotiating details and drafting tax legislation. The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to hold a markup of a tax bill as early as the week of October 23, and the Senate will follow shortly after. The coming weeks and months, as congressional tax-writers finalize these details, will be critical for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds.

The ACTION Campaign is sending a letter to Congress and the Administration that thanks Republican congressional and administration leadership for recognizing the value of the Housing Credit, and urges them to not only preserve the credit, but to include the following provisions to strengthen and modernize our affordable housing delivery system:

  • Retain the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds,
  • Enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, and
  • Make adjustments to the Housing Credit to ensure its production potential is not negatively impacted by other changes in tax reform.

Read the letter and sign on. The deadline for signing on is Friday, October 13.

All existing ACTION Campaign members will be included in the letter, so if you are already an ACTION Campaign member you do NOT need to sign on. However, we encourage you to share the letter with your networks to help us show broad support for the Housing Credit. 

If you have any questions or want to remove your organization from the letter, contact Emily Cadik at ecadik@enterprisecommunity.org before the October 13 deadline.    

 

ACTION Campaign Submits Comments to Senate Finance Committee in Response to Hearing on Business Tax Reform

The ACTION Campaign submitted a statement for the record today in response to the Senate Finance Committee’s September 19 hearing on “Business Tax Reform.”

In our comments, we thank Chairman Hatch and Senator Cantwell for championing the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548), legislation to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit. We also highlight the important role that the Housing Credit plays in the current business tax system; the benefits that the Housing Credit has for low-income families; the jobs that are created and supported through Housing Credit development; and the economic stimulation that the Housing Credit generates for local economies and communities. 

We also urge the committee to protect both the Credit and multifamily Housing Bonds – a central component of the Housing Credit program – as part of any tax reform effort considered by Congress. As hearing witness Jeffrey D. DeBoer, President and CEO at the Real Estate Roundtable, wrote in his written testimony to the Committee, the Housing Credit is an example of a tax incentive that is “needed to address market failures and encourage capital to flow to socially desirable projects.”

Visit our Advocacy Toolkit for more information about efforts to protect, strengthen, and expand the Housing Credit.

New Fact Sheets Show Impact of Housing Credit in Every Congressional District

By Shaun-Dae Clark and Olivia Barrow

The ACTION Campaign’s district fact sheets, which show the Housing Credit’s impact in each congressional district and the affordable housing needs that still remain in every state, have been updated to reflect the most recent data available.

The data come from HUD’s LIHTC database through 2015, with economic impact multipliers from the National Association of Home Builders. The district fact sheets also include data on cost-burdened renters from the 2015 American Community Survey, and data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2015 Out of Reach report, showing how many hours a minimum wage worker in each state has to work in order to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment.

We also updated our state fact sheets earlier this month, showing that the Housing Credit has financed 3 million apartments nationwide, providing affordable homes to 7 million low-income families and supporting 3.4 million jobs. However, 11.1 million households still pay more than half of their income towards rent, and the average minimum wage worker has to work 86 hours per week in order to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment, underscoring the need to expand the Housing Credit and invest in communities across the country.

Tax Reform Framework Proposes to Retain the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

Today the Trump Administration, House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee leadership issued a "Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code" that seeks to lower tax rates, simplify the tax code, bring business back into the US, broaden the tax base and encourage economic growth.

The framework proposes to lower the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent, consistent with the House’s tax reform blueprint released in 2016, and eliminate “numerous” corporate tax expenditures in order to help achieve the lower rate.

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is one of only two corporate tax expenditures that the framework explicitly preserves, noting that it is a tax incentive that has “proven to be effective in promoting policy goals important in the American economy.” Its inclusion in the plan is a testament to the proven track record of the program, the need for resources to address our nation’s vast and growing shortage of affordable housing, and the strong bipartisan support that the ACTION Campaign and its members have built over many years. The framework also notes that tax rules affecting specific industries will be modernized “to ensure that the tax code better reflects economic reality,” providing an opportunity to strengthen the Housing Credit.

The only other tax expenditure the framework proposes to retain is the Research and Development Credit, which was the sole corporate tax expenditure explicitly retained in the House’s tax reform blueprint. The framework is silent on the tax exemption for private activity bonds, which provide critical financing to more than 40 percent of Housing Credit developments in the form of multifamily Housing Bonds. However, it does indicate that “while the framework envisions repeal of other business credits, the committees may decide to retain some other business credits to the extent budgetary limitations allow.”

Other key features of the plan include:

  • Corporate tax reforms
    • Reducing the top tax rate for certain pass-through and small businesses to 25 percent
    • Allowing immediate expensing of new investments for at least five years
    • Partially limiting interest deductibility
  • International tax reforms
    • Moving from a worldwide to a territorial system to allow companies to repatriate profits without incurring additional taxes
    • Subjecting all overseas profits to a one-time tax
    • Establishing base erosion rules
  • Individual tax reforms
    • Proposing unspecific reforms to the Earned Income Tax Credit
    • Increasing the Child Tax Credit
    • Doubling the standard deduction and eliminating most itemized deductions
    • Compressing the current seven individual tax brackets into seven
    • Repealing the Estate Tax
    • Eliminating the individual Alternative Minimum Tax

The tax reform framework will now be sent to the tax committees in Congress, where the expectation is that details will be worked out through regular order with the ambitious goal of having tax reform signed into law by the end of the year. Tax reform is still anticipated to advance under the budget reconciliation process, meaning it only needs a majority vote in the Senate instead of the typical 60 votes, but also requires near unanimity among the Republican caucus. However, in order to move the bill using reconciliation, Congress must first pass a Budget Resolution providing reconciliation instructions for the tax reform bill. As the health care reform efforts demonstrated, reaching even a simple majority in the Senate can be difficult.

While the framework released today is helpful in understanding the priorities of Congressional leadership and the White House, this initial proposal may be changed significantly as the committees work out details. It is unclear, for example, whether Congress will seek to achieve deficit neutral tax reform, as envisioned in the Budget Resolution passed by the House Budget Committee, or allow for tax reform to add to the deficit, as is currently under consideraion by the Senate Budget Committee. While the Senate Budget Committee has not yet passed a Budget resolution, it is reportedly going to allow for tax reform to cost up to $1.5 trillion over ten years. The tax rate cuts envisioned in the unified framework will likely total more than $1.5 trillion, making offsets necessary regardless of how Congress proceeds with a Budget Resolution.

The coming weeks and months as these details are negotiated will be critical for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds. Throughout this process the ACTION Campaign will:

  • Thank congressional and administration leadership for recognizing the value of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit,
  • Advocate to ensure that the Housing Credit is not only retained in tax reform, but also strengthened and expanded,
  • Urge that Congress include the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act as part of tax reform, and make additional modifications to offset the impact of a lower corporate rate on Housing Credit investment and subsequent production, and
  • Ensure that the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds is retained.

We will soon be circulating an ACTION sign-on letter to reinforce these messages to Congress and the Administration. 

September ACTION Update: Housing Credit Legislation Surpasses 100 Co-Sponsors in the House

Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Surpasses 100 Co-sponsors in the House

The Tiberi-Neal Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 1661) has reached 101 co-sponsors (including Rep. Tiberi) - 48 Republicans and 53 Democrats – with 14 additional members signing on in support of the Housing Credit in the past month. The most recent additions are Representatives Edward Royce (R-CA-39), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME-2), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Kevin Yoder (R-KS-3), Ron Estes (R-KS-4), John Garamendi (D-CA-3), Ron Kind (D-WI-3), Paul Cook (R-CA-8), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11), Tim Walberg (R-MI-7), Charles Dent (R-PA-15), Claudia Tenney (R-NY-22), Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1), and Steven Palazzo (R-MS-4).

Thank you to all ACTION members for your work in achieving this tremendous milestone, including the many organizations who met with members over the August and September recesses.

The Cantwell-Hatch version of the bill (S. 548) stands at 20 co-sponsors, including Senator Cantwell.

Updated Fact Sheets Show the Impact of the Housing Credit in Every State

The ACTION campaign has released updated fact sheets on the impact of the Housing Credit in each state, including data on the homes created or preserved, jobs supported, and local income and tax revenue generated. The fact sheets also include information on the affordable housing shortages that still remain in each state. Nationwide, the Housing Credit has financed 3 million apartments, providing affordable homes to 7 million low-income families and supporting 3.4 million jobs. However, more than 11 million households still pay more than half of their income towards rent, and the average minimum wage worker has to work 112 hours per week in order to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment, underscoring the need to expand the Housing Credit. The ACTION Campaign’s district fact sheets will be updated with 2015 data in the coming weeks.

New Fact Sheet Shows Benefits of Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act for Seniors

New fact sheets show the impact of the Housing Credit in senior communities, as well as the provisions in the House and Senate versions of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act that would facilitate additional benefits for this population. These fact sheets are the second in a series of resources that highlight the ways in which the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act benefits specific communities and populations. The first fact sheets highlight the provisions in the House and Senate bills that benefit rural communities. Stay tuned for more and visit our Advocacy Toolkit for additional resources.

New Report Finds Strong Housing Credit Operating Performance

CohnReznick has released its sixth survey of Housing Credit properties, which finds that Housing Credit properties are operating better than any period in the program’s history. The report examines how Housing Credit developments are financed, how public-private partnerships foster an efficient use of the capital subsidy, why institutional investors invest in Housing Credits, economic occupancy strength, improvements in debt coverage ratio and overall strong cash flow for Housing Credit properties. The report also details the rising number of low-income renters who need affordable housing. With a 97.8% occupancy rate in 2016 – the highest rate that CohnReznick has seen since it began collecting data – nearly all Housing Credit units are occupied, underscoring the need to expand the Housing Credit to help more of the nation’s 11.2 million severely cost-burdened renter households.

ACTION Groups Highlight the Need to Expand the Housing Credit

Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, Granger MacDonald, responded to an article published in the Wall Street Journal last week calling for the elimination of the Housing Credit. MacDonald refuted the suggestion that zoning and regulatory reform were a sufficient substitute for providing affordable housing, and affirmed the Housing Credit's impact nationwide in the construction and rehabilitation of over 2.9 affordable homes. "Millions have had their lives transformed by obtaining safe, decent and affordable housing", states MacDonald, and "a bipartisan consensus is emerging on the need to expand the program."

The leaders of several of the country’s largest affordable housing nonprofits also responded to last week’s Wall Street Journal article by reiterating that the “the housing credit should be expanded, not ‘killed.’” These leaders rebutted the article’s claim that local solutions can solve a national crisis; instead, they highlighted the desperate need for affordable housing across the country and touted the Housing Credit’s strong record of success and efficiency. The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) also responded to the article, writing that the Housing Credit “does precisely what a tax credit should – it encourages an activity that would not otherwise occur, and more efficiently than otherwise could be done.” 

Updated Fact Sheets Show Impact of Housing Credit in Every State 

By Shaun-Dae Clark and Olivia Barrow

The ACTION Campaign’s state fact sheets, which show the impact of the Housing Credit and the affordable housing needs that still remain in every state, have been updated through 2015 to reflect the latest data available.

The data come from the National Council of State Housing Agencies’ 2015 Factbook, with economic impact multipliers from the National Association of Home Builders and data on cost-burdened renters from the 2015 American Community Survey. The fact sheets also use data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2015 Out of Reach report, showing how many hours a minimum wage worker has to work in order to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment.

Nationwide, the Housing Credit has financed 3 million apartments, providing affordable homes to 7 million low-income families and supporting 3.4 million jobs. However, 11.1 million households still pay more than half of their income towards rent, and the average minimum wage worker has to work 112 hours per week in order to afford a modest-two bedroom apartment, underscoring the need to expand the Housing Credit.

The ACTION Campaign’s district fact sheets will be updated with 2015 data in the coming weeks.

August ACTION Update: Congress Looks Towards Tax Reform After August Recess

Congress Looks Towards Tax Reform Amid Busy September Agenda

Republican leadership continues to signal that a comprehensive tax reform bill will be ready soon after August recess, and the Administration continues to maintain that the President will sign a tax bill before the year’s end. However, while negotiations continue among the “Big Six” – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – Congress faces a busy legislative agenda this fall – including passing an appropriations bill, negotiating a budget deal to raise spending caps, and raising the debt ceiling.

To sustain momentum for tax reform, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX-8) – joined by Committee Members Peter Roskam (R-IL-6), David Schweikert (R-AZ-6) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26) – touted the GOP’s commitment to tax reform at an event in California last week, but offered few details about provisions likely to appear in a tax reform bill. Congressional leadership will likely continue to hold events to make the case for tax reform, as well as additional hearings on tax reform once Congress returns from recess after Labor Day.

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Affordable Housing Crisis

On August 1, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on America’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions during which Committee members heard from witnesses about the need for affordable housing and the importance of passing Senator Cantwell and Chairman Hatch’s legislation, S. 548, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. The ACTION Campaign submitted a statement for the record last week in response to the hearing.

We encourage local ACTION members to thank their Senators who participated in the hearing and made positive remarks about the Housing Credit.

Local Advocates Urge Lawmakers to Expand the Housing Credit

Recent op-eds in Kentucky and Pennsylvania highlight the positive impact that the Housing Credit has on communities across the country, presenting compelling evidence to support S. 548.

Cathe Dykstra, Chief Possibility Officer, President and CEO of Family Scholar House in Kentucky, wrote in Louisville’s Courier-Journal that the Housing Credit has financed 34,000 affordable homes and generated $3.66 billion in Kentucky over the past 30 years, but there are still over 140,000 households in the state spending more than half their income on rent. She says that the state’s low-income families will not be able to succeed unless there is a significant investment in affordable homes. Dykstra calls on lawmakers to pass S. 548, which would support the development of an additional 12,315 affordable homes and nearly 14,000 jobs in the state.

Phyliss Chamberlain, executive director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, also wrote about the tremendous impact of the Housing Credit and the affordable housing shortage in her state in The Philadelphia Enquirer. Considering that every dollar of federal tax credits issued has been generating roughly 10 times that amount of investment, Chamberlain argues that expanding the Housing Credit would go a long way towards addressing the state’s immense housing needs, allowing for the development or preservation of an estimated 1,000 additional affordable homes in Pennsylvania than would otherwise be possible.

Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Continues to Gain Co-sponsors

The Tiberi-Neal Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 1661) has reached 87 co-sponsors (including Rep. Tiberi), with 10 additional members signing on in support of the Housing Credit in the past month. The most recent additions are Representatives Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40), Bob Gibbs (R-OH-7), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), John Shimkus (R-IL-15), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-1), Eliot Engel (D-NY-16), David Young (R-IA-3), Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9), and Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI-1).

The Cantwell-Hatch version of the bill (S. 548) stands at 20 co-sponsors, including Sen. Cantwell.

ACTION Campaign Submits Comments to Senate Finance Committee in Response to Hearing on Affordable Housing

Yesterday, the ACTION Campaign submitted a statement for the record to the Senate Finance Committee in response to the August 1 hearing on “America’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions.” The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548) featured prominently in the discussion and several witnesses and Committee members from both sides of the aisle made positive comments about the need to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit.

In our comments, we applaud Chairman Hatch and Senator Cantwell for introducing S. 548 and organizing the hearing on affordable housing, and we thank the several other Committee members who have signed on as co-sponsors of S. 548 and expressed support for strengthening and expanding the Housing Credit. We also urge all remaining Senate Finance Committee members to support the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act because of its proven ability to revitalize communities, preserve existing investments in affordable housing and meet the growing need for affordable housing across the country, a need that was reiterated extensively throughout the hearing.

We urge the Senate Finance Committee to advance the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act this year and protect both the Housing Credit and multifamily Housing Bonds—a central component of the Housing Credit program—as part of any tax reform effort considered by Congress.

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Affordable Housing

Today the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on "America’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions." In a bipartisan show of support for affordable housing, members of the Committee from both sides of the aisle acknowledged the need for more affordable housing and the role of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) as our nation’s primary tool for increasing the supply of affordable rental housing.

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548) featured prominently in the discussion, and there were many comments from witnesses as well as members of the Committee about the need to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit. There are currently 20 Senators signed on as co-sponsors of S. 548, including seven members of the Finance Committee.

The witnesses were:

  • Daniel Garcia-Diaz, Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment, United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). Garcia-Diaz’s testimony focused on the three GAO reports issued on the Housing Credit over the past three years, which reviewed issues of federal administration, state administration and the role of syndicators. He raised findings regarding data collection and IRS oversight of the program, and recommended that further investment be made in oversight of the program. The GAO is currently working on a fourth report on the topic of Housing Credit development costs, which is expected to be completed in early 2018.
  • Grant Whitaker, President and CEO of the Utah Housing Corporation and President of the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA). Whitaker’s testimony described the scale of the affordable housing crisis and the role of the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in addressing it, citing specific examples of these programs’ success in helping to house veterans and chronically homeless individuals in Utah. He also encouraged all Senators to co-sponsor S. 548, urging that, “This crisis will only get worse unless we act.”
  • Kathy O'Regan, Professor of Public Policy and Planning at the Furman Center and former Assistant Secretary for the HUD Office of Policy Development and Research. O’Regan’s testimony focused on the increasing number of households experiencing high cost burden, especially among the lowest income renters. She argued that now is an “opportune time to make substantive improvements” to the Housing Credit, citing several key provisions in S. 548, including income averaging, the basis boost for apartments serving extremely low-income tenants, prohibiting local approval requirements, clarifying requirements around the definition of a concerted community revitalization plan, setting a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate, and promoting development in Native American communities.
  • Kirk McClure, Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Kansas. McClure’s testimony acknowledged that the Housing Credit is “a good program” but suggested several reforms to promote the use of market studies to ensure that developments are sited in locations with the greatest need, to allow state housing finance agencies to exchange Housing Credit authority for voucher authority, to encourage rehabilitation over new construction, and to promote mixed-income developments.
  • Granger MacDonald, Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). MacDonald’s testimony stated that “housing affordability has reached crisis proportions,” and that the first step to addressing the crisis is to pass S. 548. He underscored that it is economically infeasible to develop homes that are affordable to low-income renters without the Housing Credit, and enumerated the many benefits of affordable housing for residents – including breaking the cycle of poverty by providing greater stability for residents – as well as the broader economic impacts for communities.

In his opening statement, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), lead Republican sponsor of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, described the affordable housing crisis as “a problem that should be ready for a bipartisan solution,” and throughout the hearing expressed support for S. 548 as an important step to make a meaningful dent in the affordable housing crisis. “One reason I support the Housing Credit,” Chairman Hatch said, “is that it keeps decision-making away from D.C., and keeps it in communities while involving the private sector.” Hatch also outlined broader principles for tax reform, including fairness, efficiency, simplicity, and American competitiveness.

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) opening statement reaffirmed his support for S. 548 and called on the committee to pursue bipartisanship both in advancing this bill and in tax reform more broadly. “Senators Cantwell and Hatch are demonstrating how the two sides can work together on major economic challenges,” Ranking Member Wyden said. “After a heated few weeks in the Senate, I know both sides crave a return to bipartisanship and regular order, and for this committee that would mean tax reform is likely on the horizon.”

In her remarks, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), lead sponsor of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, highlighted the role of the Housing Credit in serving urban as well as rural communities, and responding to specific needs like veteran homelessness. She emphasized the growth in the number of cost-burdened renter households, citing projections from Enterprise and the Joint Center for Housing Studies that the number of renter households who pay more than half of their income towards rent could grow to nearly 15 million by 2025. Senator Cantwell also underscored the high costs of inaction on the health and criminal justice systems, among others.

Prominent themes in the hearing included:

  • The affordable housing crisis affects every state and all types of communities. Senator John Thune (R-SD) noted that the affordable housing crisis affects rural communities in addition to the urban ones more often associated with the crisis, and asked about provisions in S. 548 to encourage affordable housing development in rural communities (of which there are several). Ranking Member Wyden said, “This crisis is a five-alarm fire across the country.” Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) also discussed the mismatch between wages and what it costs to rent housing in his own state, and quoted pediatrician Megan Sandel in describing affordable housing as a “vaccine” that is needed in order to keep children healthy.
  • The Housing Credit is the primary tool to develop more affordable housing. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), a co-sponsor of S. 548, called the Housing Credit “one of the best tools we have,” and confirmed with MacDonald of NAHB that none of the 4,700 affordable apartments that MacDonald had developed would have been possible without the Housing Credit. Several other members and witnesses also acknowledged that the Housing Credit is essentially the only tool the federal government has to add more affordable housing to our nation’s supply.
  • Even successful programs can be made stronger. Ranking Member Wyden, who is an original co-sponsor of S. 548, said that the bill will help us “wring all of the value out of the Housing Credit.” Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) added that we need “stronger tools available,” and that he is “not squeamish about looking at ways to make programs more effective.” Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) expressed her enthusiasm for the bill as well, indicating that she looks forward to being listed as an official co-sponsor, and discussed Michigan’s specific need for the provision to address planned foreclosures.
  • Private sector and state oversight are critical to the Housing Credit’s success. In response to questions from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) about oversight of the Housing Credit, Whitaker of NCSHA noted that state agencies are deeply involved in monitoring Housing Credit properties, including compliance audits and reviews of financial records, rent rolls and physical conditions. Garcia-Diaz of the GAO also acknowledged the role of the private sector in monitoring the program, noting that while syndicators “don’t relieve the federal government of the responsibility” of overseeing the program, they do “play a unique role in oversight of the Housing Credit.” Senator Isakson also observed that the Housing Credit “has about as many incentives as you can have in a program to take good care of the properties.” “I know it’s hard to track from the GAO’s perspective,” MacDonald of NAHB added, “but at the local level there’s a lot of oversight.”
  • Adjustments to the Housing Credit will be needed in order to offset the impact of a lower corporate rate and other potential changes in tax reform. Even if there are no proposed changes to the Housing Credit in tax reform, other changes to the corporate tax code could negatively impact Housing Credit production. O’Regan of the Furman Center noted that, “any decrease in corporate tax rates also lowers the amount of equity raised by the credit,” and that Housing Credit equity could “decline by up to 17 percent under expected decreases in the corporate tax rate if per-capita allocations are not increased to keep pace.” Senator Thune also asked about the impact of a shorter depreciation period on Housing Credit investment, and MacDonald of NAHB noted that such a change could have a positive impact on Housing Credit pricing.

The ACTION Campaign will provide a statement for the record and encourages other ACTION members to submit statements as well. Statements must be received no later than two weeks following the conclusion of the hearing, and instructions can be found on the committee's hearing webpage. See our submission to the Senate Finance Committee submitted earlier this month for talking points and data regarding the need for affordable housing and the impact of the Housing Credit.

For more information about the Housing Credit and the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, visit our Advocacy Toolkit.

July ACTION Update: Senate to Hold Hearing on Affordable Housing, Tax Reform to Take Center Stage.

Senate Finance Committee to Hold Hearing on Affordable Housing Next Week

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing for next Tuesday, August 1, on "America’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions." The Housing Credit and the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548) will feature prominently in the discussion. The witnesses will be:

  • Daniel Garcia-Diaz, Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment, United States Government Accountability Office
  • Grant Whitaker, President and CEO of the Utah Housing Corporation and President of the National Council of State Housing Agencies
  • Kathy O'Regan, Professor of Public Policy and Planning at the Furman Center and former Assistant Secretary for the HUD Office of Policy Development and Research
  • Kirk McClure, Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Kansas
  • Granger MacDonald, Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Home Builders

The ACTION Campaign will provide a statement for the record and encourages other ACTION members to submit statements as well. Statements must be received no later than two weeks following the conclusion of the hearing, and instructions can be found on the committee's hearing webpage.

Tax Reform to Take Center Stage

While Congressional healthcare efforts are still underway, Congress is increasingly turning its attention to tax reform. It remains to be seen whether Congress will be able to pass comprehensive tax reform, or even a more limited tax cut bill, with many unanswered questions, including whether Congress will be able to pass a budget resolution providing reconciliation protections to a tax bill and whether Congressional Republicans will be able to come to an agreement with each other and with the White House on the details of a plan. In the meantime, we wait for a more detailed tax reform plan from the Administration, building off the one-page outline the White House released in April, expected to be released in early September.

Meanwhile, both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have held hearings on tax reform in recent weeks, focusing on the impact of tax reform for small businesses, middle class families, and working individuals. The Housing Credit was featured positively during a July 18 Senate Finance Committee hearing to consider the nomination of David J. Kautter as Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy of the Treasury Department. During the hearing, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) highlighted the critical need for more affordable rental housing in tax reform, saying, “The tax credit drives 90 percent of affordable housing, so if you don’t increase it, we’re not going to increase the supply.” Kautter responded that, “from what I’ve seen [the Housing Credit] works pretty well” and expressed an interest in making the program “even more effective and efficient than it is today.” See the full exchange between Senator Cantwell and David Kautter on the importance of investing in the Housing Credit.

During another July 18 Senate Finance Committee hearing, titled Comprehensive Tax Reform: Prospects and Challenges, Senators from both sides of the aisle discussed the need to lower the corporate tax rate in order to encourage job and wage growth, provide greater fairness within the code, and sustainably (and permanently) reform the tax system through fiscally responsible and revenue-spurring changes. Committee members from both parties expressed a desire to legislate in a bipartisan manner; however, some Democrats voiced concerns that GOP lawmakers may write legislation without Democratic input or not hold hearings in the Committee once a tax reform bill was drafted.

The House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee also held two hearings this month: How Tax Reform Will Help America’s Small Businesses Grow and Create New Jobs, on July 13, and How Tax Reform Will Simplify Our Broken Tax Code and Help Individuals and Families, on July 19. Both of these hearings explored the principles for comprehensive tax reform outlined in the House GOP tax reform blueprint, “A Pro-Growth Tax Code for All Americans,” released last summer.

Recent Op-Eds Highlight Importance of the Housing Credit Across the Country

Last month, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution in support of expanding the Housing Credit and called for increased investment in the nation’s critical affordable housing infrastructure. Eric Enderlin, president of New York City’s Housing Development Corporation, and Christine Hensley from the Des Moines City Council, argue in a recent op-ed in The Hill that consensus between the public officials in NYC and Des Moines -- two very different places -- indicates that the affordable housing crisis is a bipartisan issue that transcends geography and should not go unnoticed by Congress. Enderlin and Hensley urge lawmakers to protect and expand the Housing Credit, which includes supporting the Affordable Housing Improvement Act in the House (H.R. 1661) and Senate (S. 548).

Ralph Perrey, executive director of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, also wrote this week about the importance of expanding affordable housing resources, specifically the Housing Credit, which is the nation's primary tool to develop new affordable housing. And Matthew Reiger, CEO of Housing Trust Group in Miami, wrote in the Miami Herald that lawmakers must pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act to support cost-burdened renters in South Florida.

New Resources Highlight Benefits of Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act for Rural Communities

New ACTION Campaign fact sheets highlight the Housing Credit’s impact in rural areas and the provisions in the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act that would make it easier to develop affordable housing in rural areas. See the Senate version and the House version of the new rural fact sheet.

Visit the ACTION Campaign’s Advocacy Toolkit for other advocacy materials, including our new Case for Enhancing the Housing Credit, bill summaries, bill text, "Dear Colleague" letters, sample letters to members of Congress requesting co-sponsorship, and more. 

Affordable Housing Events Taking Place Nationwide During Week of Action

This week, Our Homes, Our Voices is hosting a Week of Action with events planned across the country in support of critical affordable housing programs. Affordable housing stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the events that have been scheduled or coordinate their own local events during the Week of Action.

With members of Congress preparing to return to their districts for the August recess, we also encourage ACTION Campaign members to arrange property tours and site visits for members of Congress and their staff.

Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Continues to Gain Co-sponsors

The Tiberi-Neal Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 1661) has reached 77 co-sponsors (including Rep. Tiberi), with 14 additional members signing on in support of the Housing Credit in the past month. The most recent additions are Representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3), Susan Brooks (R-IN-5), Matt Cartwright (D-PA-17), Keith Ellison (D-MN-5), Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA-4), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3), Alcee Hastings (D-FL-20), Larry Bucshon (R-IN-8), Darrell Issa (R-CA-49), Chellie Pingree (D-ME-1), Roger Marshall (R-KS-1), Robert Brady (D-PA-1), Scott Taylor (R-VA-2), and Stephen Knight (R-CA-25).

The Cantwell-Hatch version of the bill (S. 548) has reached 20 co-sponsors, including Sen. Cantwell.

With tax reform high on the agenda when Congress returns from August recess, now is a critical time for Housing Credit stakeholders to encourage additional members of Congress to sign on as co-sponsors.

ACTION Campaign Submits Comments to Senate Finance Committee

The ACTION Campaign has submitted comments to the Senate Finance Committee in response to Chairman Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) request for recommendations for creating a simpler and fairer tax system. In particular, he asked for recommendations regarding tax relief for middle-class households, strengthening business, removing impediments and disincentives for savings and investment and updating the nation’s international tax system.

In our comments, we applaud Chairman Hatch and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) for introducing the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548) to expand and strengthen the Housing Credit, encourage the Senate Finance Committee to advance this critical legislation this year, and urge the Committee to protect both the Housing Credit and multifamily Housing Bonds—a central component of the Housing Credit program—as part of any tax reform effort considered by Congress.

Recommendation letters must be submitted by email to taxreform2017@finance.senate.gov no later than Monday, July 17. We again encourage all ACTION Campaign members to weigh in, and for those have not yet provided comments, we invite you to use language and data from the ACTION Campaign submission.

‘Out of Reach’ Report Demonstrates Critical Need for Expanding the Housing Credit

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) recently released its 2017 Out of Reach report with staggering statistics; renters need to earn a wage of $21.21 per hour, or more than 2.9 times higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, in order to afford a modest two-bedroom unit in the U.S. These findings reinforce the importance of supporting the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), which is essential for preserving and expanding the supply of affordable rental housing.

According to NLIHC, a full-time minimum-wage worker cannot afford a modest two-bedroom rental unit in any state, metropolitan area or county in the U.S. On average, a renter earning the federal minimum wage would need to work 94.5 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom rental unit at Fair Market Rent, and 117 hours per week (three full-time jobs) to afford a two-bedroom. According to NLIHC, the national gap between the average renter’s wage and the “housing wage,” which is the hourly wage full-time workers must earn to afford modest rental housing without spending more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing, is $4.83 per hour.

Twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia and a number of local jurisdictions have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage. However, a full-time minimum-wage worker can only afford a one-bedroom rental home in twelve counties in the U.S. The report also finds that more than 20 million renter households live in “housing poverty,” meaning they are unable to pay for all of their other basic needs like food, transportation and medical care after paying rent.

There are 11.2 million severely cost-burdened renter households and a national shortage of 7.4 million affordable rental homes for extremely low-income households, indicating the critical need for more affordable housing. However, the supply of affordable rental housing has not kept pace with rising demand over the past decade. Between 2007 and 2015, the median gross rent for a rental unit increased by six percent (after adjusting for overall inflation), while the median income for renter households increased by only one percent, and the national median income dropped by four percent.

It is not economically feasible for developers to build affordable housing without a subsidy, which is why strengthening and expanding the Housing Credit – a successful public-private partnership that is responsible for nearly all of the affordable housing built and preserved since the program was created in 1986 – is so critical. Since it was created in 1986, the Housing Credit has financed nearly 3 million apartments since 1986, providing roughly 6.7 million low-income families, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities homes they can afford.

The Housing Credit also serves many of the households with the greatest needs; over 80 percent of Housing Credit tenants are considered very low-income (at or below 50 percent of AMI) and nearly half of Housing Credit tenants are considered extremely low-income (below 30 percent of AMI). Expanding the Housing Credit and increasing the supply of affordable housing cannot come soon enough for the 11.2 million severely cost-burdened families who must make tradeoffs between necessities like transportation, healthy food and medical bills.

The ACTION Campaign strongly supports the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017, introduced by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in the Senate (S. 548), and by Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) and Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA-1) in the House (H.R. 1661). To read more about this legislation, read our bill summary for the House and Senate bills, and visit our Advocacy Toolkit for more resources to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit in your state and district.

ACTION Submits Statement on the Housing Credit’s Economic Benefits

The ACTION Campaign has submitted a statement to the House Ways and Means Committee in response to a May 18 hearing on “How Tax Reform Will Grow Our Economy and Create Jobs,” urging the committee to expand and strengthen the Housing Credit and protect multifamily Housing Bonds as part of any tax reform effort to grow our economy and create jobs.

Our comments describe the Housing Credit’s 30-year track record of success, as well as the host of positive impacts that Housing Credit development has on local economies and communities – including creating jobs, generating local income and tax revenue, revitalizing distressed communities, increasing property values and reducing poverty, crime, and racial and economic isolation. We also discuss the importance of the Housing Credit in preserving our existing investments in affordable housing, as well as the drain that a lack of affordable housing has on our economy.

We urge the Ways and Means Committee to advance the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1661), sponsored by Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) and Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA-1), as a way to support investment in the Housing Credit through tax reform. We also call on Congress to expand the Housing Credit and retain the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds.

Visit our Advocacy Toolkit for more information about efforts to protect, strengthen, and expand the Housing Credit.

Support for the Housing Credit Continues to Grow

By Emily Cadik and Olivia Barrow

Recent articles, reports, policy developments, and advocacy tools continue to build the case for strengthening and expanding the Housing Credit. See our Advocacy Toolkit for more resources to help promote the positive benefits of the Housing Credit in your community.

New Video Features the Housing Credit's Far-Reaching Benefits

Strengthen What’s Working,” a new video from the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, explores the Housing Credit's role as America’s primary tool for creating and preserving affordable rental homes—and why it should be strengthened and expanded as a proven community and economic development tool.

The video features Family Scholar House in Louisville, Kentucky, which provides homes for children with parents pursuing higher education; Hope Manor II in Chicago, which serves veterans; and Columbia Senior Residences in Decatur, Georgia, outside Atlanta. It also includes testimony from HUD Secretary Ben Carson and a statement from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID).

Reports Highlight Impact of Housing Credit

A new publication from the NYU Furman Center details the Housing Credit as the federal government’s primary financing tool for the construction and preservation of affordable housing. Since 1986, the Housing Credit has generated a host of benefits for local communities, including increased surrounding home values and lower crime rates. The publication also shows that Housing Credit tenants have access to better schools.

Additionally, the AARP Public Policy Institute recently released a report highlighting the importance of Housing Credit properties for the elderly population. The report finds that 30 percent of housing cost-burdened households are ages 62 and older, making the Housing Credit a source of much-needed affordable housing for low-income seniors.

Poll Shows Vast Majority of Voters Support Housing Credit

A recent poll from Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) and Harris Insights & Analytics also shows that 74 percent of voters are in favor of keeping the Housing Credit in tax reform – giving it the most support of any corporate tax deduction or credit among those polled.  Read more in our blog post.

Bipartisan Support Grows for Housing Credit Legislation

Legislation in both the Senate and House continues to indicate that the Housing Credit has strong bipartisan support. The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (S. 548) was introduced with 11 original co-sponsors alongside Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and companion legislation in the House (H.R. 1661) was introduced with 16 original co-sponsors, alongside Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA-1). Both the Senate and House legislation have continued to gain bipartisan support since being introduced, with 17 and 37 co-sponsors respectively. The ACTION Campaign sent letters to both the Senate and House in support of these bills.

Administration Confirms Support for Housing Credit

Additionally, members of the Administration have signaled support for the Housing Credit. HUD Secretary Ben Carson stated his support for public-private partnerships, specifically the Housing Credit, at his confirmation hearing in January and more recently on his “listening tour” of HUD'-financed properties throughout the country.

Op-Eds Highlight Need for Housing Credit Expansion

Enterprise Community Partners President and CEO Terri Ludwig recently advocated for an expansion of the Housing Credit by touting the program’s strong history as a model public-private partnership that ensures accountability and results. “Investors receive credits only after properties are up and running as homes to income-eligible families at affordable rents,” write Ludwig. “In other words, private investors, not taxpayers, bear the financial risk of development.”

LISC President & CEO Maurice Jones and National Equity Fund President & CEO Joe Hagan also wrote in the Huffington Post about the need ensure that the Housing Credit remains robust and flexible: "It gets rid of blight. It creates jobs. And it gives people a chance for a better way of life."

Trump Administration Releases Tax Reform Proposal with Limited Details

On April 26, the Trump Administration released a one-page proposal outlining its high-level principles for tax reform. A linchpin of the plan is to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 to 15 percent, consistent with proposals President Trump made during the campaign.

Other corporate tax proposals include a territorial tax system to “level the playing field” for American companies, a one-time repatriation tax on trillions of dollars held overseas and the elimination of tax breaks for unspecified “special interests.” The Administration also proposes making significant changes to the individual side of the tax code, including a doubling of the standard deduction that prompted immediate criticism from the real estate industry.

The Administration’s plan does not mention the Housing Credit or Housing Bonds, and it is unclear how many tax credits and deductions will be targeted for repeal under the proposal to “eliminate tax breaks for special interests.” A recent poll from Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) and Harris Insights & Analytics shows that 74 percent of voters are in favor of keeping the Housing Credit in tax reform, giving it the most support of any corporate tax deduction or credit among those polled.

Democrats in Congress have criticized the plan and appear unlikely to work with the Administration on tax reform, suggesting that the likeliest path for tax reform is through the budget reconciliation process. Budget reconciliation allows legislation to pass the Senate on a partisan basis with only a simple majority instead of 60 votes. However, the budget reconciliation process is governed by rules that may preclude it as a vehicle for the Administration’s tax plan in its current form. Anything passed through budget reconciliation cannot raise deficits outside of a ten-year budget window, and while the cost of the Administration’s plan is not yet known, estimates range between $3 trillion and $7 trillion over ten years.

Republicans on the Hill generally supported the President’s goal of cutting taxes and simplifying the tax code but also voiced a variety of concerns. Unlike the House plan, which offsets $1 trillion in lost revenue through its controversial border adjustment proposal, the Trump proposal does not include major revenue offsets. Even using dynamic scoring, which considers future economic growth in the scoring process, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to fit the current proposal into the confines of budget reconciliation, or to gain sufficient political support among fiscally conservative Republicans.

While the release of the President’s tax reform proposal serves as an “opening bid” for what the Administration would like to see in tax reforms, the timeline for tax reform is still likely to take many months and is highly unlikely to emerge in accordance with the Administration plan.  In addition, the one-page plan leaves many details unaddressed. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently suggested that the timeline for the President signing tax reform will take longer than the initially ambitious August goal.

Throughout May, the Trump Administration will hold listening sessions with stakeholders to receive feedback on the proposal. At this time, it is not yet known when the Administration will release a more detailed tax plan. The House is also continuing to translate its tax reform blueprint, released last summer, into legislation, and plans to hold tax reform hearings over the coming months. The Senate has not yet announced its own formal process, but is very unlikely to accept either the House or Administration’s plans without significant changes.

New Poll Finds Strong Public Support for Housing Credit in Tax Reform

A new poll from Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) and Harris Insights & Analytics shows that 74 percent of voters are in favor of keeping the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) in tax reform – giving it the most support of any corporate tax deduction or credit among those polled.  

This strong demonstration of public support for the Housing Credit comes at a critical time as Congress and the Administration move forward in the tax reform process. The Administration has announced that it will release a tax reform proposal as soon as Wednesday, and the House Ways and Means Committee is preparing to begin hearings on tax reform in the coming weeks.

The poll also found that just under half of voters support cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, but are more inclined to support corporate tax reform that would bring foreign profits back to the U.S. and fund infrastructure investments in the U.S..

More Than 2,000 Organizations and Businesses Urge Support for Tiberi-Neal Bill to Strengthen the Housing Credit

Over 2,000 organizations and businesses from across the nation are calling on Congress to support the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1661), bipartisan legislation introduced by Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) and House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA-1) to strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit).

The letter submitted on behalf of the ACTION Campaign urges Congress to support the Tiberi-Neal bill, which includes provisions to provide states with additional flexibility, make the financing of affordable housing more predictable and streamlined, facilitate Housing Credit development in challenging markets like rural and Native American communities, increase the Housing Credit’s ability to serve extremely low-income tenants, and support the preservation of existing affordable housing. The legislation also contains important provisions that would support development of rental homes using the Housing Credit coupled with multifamily Housing Bonds, which currently provide critical financing to roughly 40 percent of Housing Credit apartments.

The Tiberi-Neal bill was introduced with 16 original co-sponsors, of which 13 are members of the House Ways and Means Committee. Since the bill was introduced, several additional members have joined as co-sponsors, signaling strong bipartisan support for the Housing Credit in a year that Congress hopes to achieve comprehensive tax reform.

The Tiberi-Neal bill is companion legislation to the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (S. 548), introduced by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) earlier in March. The ACTION Campaign previously sent a letter to Congress on behalf of over 2,000 organizations and businesses in support of the Cantwell-Hatch bill. While the House version does not include the 50 percent cap increase on Housing Credit allocation authority that is included in the Senate version, the House bill does include the roughly two-dozen other provisions to strengthen the Housing Credit that are included in the Cantwell-Hatch bill. The ACTION Campaign fully supports the House bill and will continue to advocate for a cap increase in any tax legislation that moves forward in Congress.

For more information, see the:

The ACTION Campaign Circulates Sign-On Letter in Support of Tiberi-Neal Legislation

Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) and Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA-1) recently introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1661), bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Housing Credit.

The Tiberi-Neal legislation is the House companion to S. 548, introduced by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) earlier in March. While the Tiberi-Neal bill does not include the 50 percent cap increase on Housing Credit allocation authority included in the Senate bill, it does include the roughly two dozen other provisions to strengthen the Housing Credit. This includes strengthening the Housing Credit by providing states with additional flexibility, making the financing of affordable housing more predictable and streamlined, facilitating Housing Credit development in challenging markets like rural and Native American communities, increasing the Housing Credit’s ability to serve extremely low-income tenants, and supporting the preservation of existing affordable housing. See our bill summary for a full list of provisions in H.R. 1661.

The ACTION Campaign will be submitting a letter to Congress demonstrating our strong support for the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act.

Read the letter and sign on to support the Tiberi-Neal legislation. The deadline for signing on to the letter is Friday, April 7.

All existing ACTION Campaign members will be included in the letter, so if you are already an ACTION Campaign member you do NOT need to sign on. However, we encourage you to share the letter with your networks to help us show broad support for the Housing Credit. 

If you have any questions or wish to remove your organization from the letter, contact Emily Cadik at ecadik@enterprisecommunity.org by the April 7 deadline.