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."