August ACTION Update: Senators Propose Affordable Housing Task Force, New Fact Sheet Highlights the Importance of Enacting a Minimum 4 Percent Credit Rate

Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Update

With the House in recess through September 3 and the Senate focused primarily on non-tax issues, ACTION is preparing for the next opportunity to advance the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, which will mostly likely be in the lame-duck session after the November midterm elections. ACTION continues to seek increased co-sponsorship in both the House and Senate to ensure broad support for the Housing Credit in any upcoming legislative negotiations. The House version (H.R. 1661) of the bill now has 160 co-sponsors, including 86 Democrats and 74 Republicans. Recent additions include Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-MI-5), Rep. John Curtis (R-UT-3), and Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC-6). The Senate version of the bill (S. 548) remains at 40 co-sponsors, with 28 Democrats, 10 Republicans and two Independents. 

We encourage all ACTION Campaign members to use the recess while members are in their districts to thank co-sponsors of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act and continue to share your support for the legislation with any members who have not yet signed on. We also encourage Housing Credit stakeholders to invite your representatives to visit local Housing Credit developments while the House is in their home districts on recess through September 3. The Senate will also be on recess the week of August 6th. Site visits are a great way to show members of Congress firsthand how Housing Credit developments impact their communities and constituents. Visit our Advocacy Toolkit for sample language to invite elected officials to tour Housing Credit developments.

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Affordable Housing Task Force Bill

Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced the Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act (S. 3231), which seeks to establish a bipartisan task force to evaluate how our nation’s severe shortage of affordable housing impacts other, non-housing government programs and the quality of life for people across the nation. Other co-sponsors of the legislation include Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Christopher Coons (D-DE), and John Kennedy (R-LA). 

ACTION applauds this group of bipartisan Senators for their attention to affordable housing, and we encourage Congress to enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548) as a critical part of the solution. We also encourage ACTION Campaign members to reach out to Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Doug Jones (D-AL) to thank them for their support for affordable housing and encourage them to co-sponsor the Cantwell-Hatch Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548) to help address the issue. Visit our Advocacy Toolkit for sample language to reach out to your elected officials.

New Fact Sheet Highlights the Importance of Enacting a Minimum 4 Percent Credit Rate

Last week the ACTION Campaign released a new fact sheet explaining how the 4 percent Housing Credit works and the importance of establishing a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate, as proposed in the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. The fact sheet explains how the floating Credit rate for the 4 percent program provides far less equity to developments than what Congress intended, and highlights the benefits of creating a fixed rate, such as filling critical financing gaps for developing affordable homes, providing more market certainty in Housing Credit financing, and allowing for greater flexibility and discretion for states to finance high-priority developments. Visit the Advocacy Toolkit to access this fact sheet, along with other advocacy resources to support the Housing Credit. 

Democratic Representatives Introduce New Housing Credit Bill

Last week Representatives James Clyburn (D-SC-6) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1) introduced the Restoring Tax Credits for Affordable Housing Act (H.R. 6542), which would modify the formula for calculating the amount of Housing Credits and increase the national cap on allocated Credits. The bill is intended to restore the reduced Housing Credit production resulting from the lower corporate tax rate that was enacted in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. While we do not expect this bill to advance this year, ACTION appreciates Rep. Clyburn and DelBene’s attention to this critical issue.