Urgent Action Needed to Expand and Strengthen Housing Credit in Omnibus

Congress is currently negotiating an omnibus spending bill, which is likely to include a tax component, and needs to pass on or before March 23 when the current continuing resolution expires. This bill may be the last potential vehicle for the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act for quite some time, and opportunities will be few and far between as we get closer to the midterm elections later this year. There will be a lot of competing interests vying to be part of what could be the last major piece of legislation for a while, so outreach over the coming days is critical to make sure our Housing Credit legislation rises to the top of the priorities list. 

Advocacy Message

  • Ask all Republican co-sponsors of S. 548 to reach out to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and urge him to enact S. 548 in the tax package that could move with the omnibus.
  • Ask all Democratic co-sponsors of S. 548 to reach out to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to make sure our bill is a Democratic priority in their negotiations with Senate Republicans. We also encourage you to reach out to the following Democrats, who are in the queue waiting to be added to S. 548, and urge them to share their support with Sen. Schumer:
    • Sen. Cortez Masto (D-NV)
    • Sen. Reed (D-RI)
    • Sen. Carper (D-DE)
    • Sen. Nelson (D-FL)
    • Sen. Casey (D-PA)
    • Sen. Duckworth (D-IL)
    • Sen. Hirono (D-HI)
    • Sen. King (I-ME)
    • Sen. Coons (D-DE)
    • Sen. Feinstein (D-CA)
    • Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI)
    • Sen. Cardin (D-MD)
    • Sen. Stabenow (D-MI)
    • Sen. Heitkamp (D-ND)
    • Sen. Markey (D-MA)
    • Sen. Menendez (D-NJ)
    • Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY)
    • Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Ask all Republican co-sponsors of H.R. 1661 to reach out to House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and tell them they support enactment of H.R. 1661 as part of the omnibus.
  • Ask all Democratic co-sponsors of H.R. 1661 to reach out to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to make sure H.R. 1661 is a Democratic priority in negotiations with Republicans about tax provisions in the omnibus.

There are eight new co-sponsors on the House version of the bill, bringing total co-sponsorship on H.R. 1661 to 135 representatives, including 68 Democrats and 67 Republicans. New co-sponsors include Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV-1), Rep. Gene Green (D-TX-29), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO-6) , Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY-23), Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA-2), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY-3), and Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO-6). We encourage you to thank these members for their support and urge them to weigh in with House leadership immediately. 

You may wish to use the following talking points:

  • Thank you for your support of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. As you know, this legislation includes common-sense reforms to make the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds more streamlined and flexible. The Senate version of the legislation also includes a 50 percent increase in Housing Credit resources, which we are calling on both the House and Senate to adopt. This increase in resources would finance approximately 400,000 more affordable homes over the next decade than would otherwise be possible.
  • [For Republican offices only]: The affordable housing community applauds Congress for retaining the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and tax-exempt multifamily Housing Bonds in tax reform. Together, these two programs finance virtually all affordable housing built and preserved in the United States. However, our work is not done.
  • There is a growing need for affordable housing that vastly exceeds the supply we are able to produce with limited resources currently available to us. There are more than 11 million households who pay more than half of their income on rent, and this number is expected to increase unless we act now. (See our state fact sheets for data on the affordable housing shortage in each state.)
  • We understand that the omnibus spending bill currently being negotiated is likely to have a tax component, and may be the last potential vehicle for advancing the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act for quite some time.
  • We ask that you reach out to [member of leadership – see above] urging them to include the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act in the omnibus.

If you have any questions or need any staff contact information, please contact Emily Cadik, Senior Director, Public Policy, Enterprise Community Partners, at ecadik@enterprisecommunity.org or 202-403-8015, or Jennifer Schwartz, Director for Tax Policy and Advocacy, National Council of State Housing Agencies, at jschwartz@ncsha.org or 202-624-7758.