Housing Credit Advocacy Critical While Congress Negotiates Omnibus Package

We are continuing to advocate to include the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act in the next tax legislation that Congress advances. Earlier this month, there was bipartisan support for including provisions of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act in the deal that was struck on tax extenders, the continuing resolution and the budget caps. While it was not ultimately included in the final legislation, it showed major progress and momentum for the Housing Credit. The bill’s sponsors in the Senate, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), are highly motivated to advance the bill (S. 548) this year and are looking for every possible opportunity to include it in any upcoming tax legislation. ACTION is doing everything we can to support their efforts. We also are working closely with Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26), the new lead Republican on the House version of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1661), as well as Ranking Member Richard Neal’s (D-MA-1) office, to continue to build support in the House.

Our most immediate focus is the omnibus Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 spending legislation currently being negotiated, which must pass by March 23. The omnibus is likely to include a tax component, which could serve as a vehicle to advance the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. Advocacy is critical over the coming weeks as negotiations are ongoing, not only to grow support for this legislation, but to ensure that congressional leadership is hearing from members that they want to see the bill enacted now. We encourage all ACTION members to:

1)   Reach out to current supporters of S. 548 and H.R. 1661 asking them to urge leadership to include the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act in the upcoming omnibus package, and

2)   Continue to build co-sponsorship, encouraging any members of Congress who have not already signed onto S. 548 or H.R. 1661 – especially Republicans – to do so.

Visit the ACTION Campaign Advocacy Toolkit for resources to help make the case for the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act.

Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Co-Sponsor Update

The Senate version of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548) has 23 co-sponsors – 12 Democrats, 10 Republicans and one Independent. There are also 18 Democrats who intend to co-sponsor the bill but are not yet formally listed, as Senator Cantwell seeks to maintain party balance.

Three new co-sponsors have joined the House version of the bill, H.R. 1661 – Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL-18), Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL-15), and Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-2). This brings the total co-sponsorship on the House bill to 127 representatives – 63 Democrats and 64 Republicans.

Trump Administration Releases Infrastructure Proposal

The Trump Administration released its FY 2019 budget proposal earlier this month, as well as a proposal for infrastructure legislation. The 55-page infrastructure plan does not include any proposals to invest in affordable housing, underscoring a need to continue to make the case that housing is a critical part of our nation’s infrastructure. The infrastructure proposal does call for lifting the volume cap on private activity bonds for certain activities, however it does not appear that housing is one of these expanded uses.