Senators Schumer and Cantwell Call for Housing Credit Expansion

Today Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) joined Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) in calling for an expansion of the Housing Credit to address our nation’s shortage of affordable housing. At an event at New York’s East 9th Street supportive housing development, financed by the Housing Credit, Senators Schumer and Cantwell were joined by affordable housing developers, advocates and stakeholders to make the case for Senator Cantwell’s forthcoming legislation to increase Housing Credit resources by 50 percent and enact other modifications to strengthen the program and streamline its administration.

The event is the latest in a nationwide campaign to expand the Housing Credit, launched in March with a series of events led by Senator Cantwell around Washington State and the release of an ACTION Campaign letter signed by over 1,300 businesses and organizations.

“Access to affordable housing is essential for the health of our families and the economic strength of our communities and that’s why expanding the federal low-income housing tax credit is so important,” Senator Schumer said in a statement. “The key to New York’s continued growth and economic strength is directly tied to the need to expand our pool of affordable housing for young people, for new families and for others – and the federal government, via this tax credit, needs to be a full partner in that effort. With thousands of homeless and housing-needy people in New York City alone, we need to do all we can to provide families and children with safe and affordable housing options. This tax credit has already financed millions of homes across the country and this national plan will help finance hundreds of thousands more. I will continue to fight tooth and nail in Congress, alongside my colleague Senator Cantwell, to make sure these tax credits are expanded.”

"Like Washington State, New York and our nation as a whole face serious challenges when it comes to affordable housing and homelessness,” said Senator Cantwell. “The Low Income Housing Tax Credit is a critical tool that communities across the nation can use to address these issues. The project that we are visiting today, Phipps Houses, is a perfect example of how housing tax credits can bring together federal, state, local, nonprofit and investors to solve one of our most pressing problems.  Nationally, we estimate that our legislation will allow an additional 400,000 units of affordable housing to be built over the next ten years, including an additional 14,000 in New York state.”

The Housing Credit has financed over 170,000 apartments in New York since 1986, providing affordable homes to roughly 400,000 households. However, more than 1 million New York households still pay more than half of their income in rent, underscoring the urgent need for more affordable housing resources. Nationwide, the Housing Credit has financed close to 3 million affordable homes, but more than 11 million households still pay more than half of their income towards rent.