New Version of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Retains Housing Credit, Housing Bonds

Today the House and Senate GOP leadership filed a conference report on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, reconciling the differences between the House-passed and Senate-passed versions of the bill. Both chambers are expected to vote on the bill early next week.

The new version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would:

  • Retain the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), with no modifications. The amendment that Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) added to the Senate bill was removed from the final bill. This amendment would have replaced the existing Housing Credit general public use requirement exception for artist housing with one for veterans; made properties in rural areas eligible to receive a basis boost; and reduced the maximum basis boost for all types of boost-eligible developments from 130 to 125 percent.
  • Fully retain private activity bonds (PABs), including multifamily Housing Bonds, which provide critical financing to more than half of all Housing Credit developments and trigger the “4 percent” Housing Credit. The bill made no modifications to PABs that would have undercut Housing Bonds.
  • Lower the top corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, effective January 1, 2018.
  • Create a base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT), which would affect investors’ ability to use the Housing Credit and other credits to offset certain taxes related to foreign earnings and earnings going to foreign parent companies. However, the conference report mitigates the impact of the BEAT on the Housing Credit by exempting 80 percent of the value of the Housing Credit from the BEAT. 

The ACTION Campaign thanks the conferees for retaining both the Housing Credit and multifamily Housing Bonds in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Together, these programs provide the financing for nearly all affordable housing built and preserved in the U.S.

We also thank all ACTION members who successfully mobilized to urge Congress to reject the House proposal that would have eliminated all PABs, including multifamily Housing Bonds. This provision would have decimated affordable housing production by essentially eliminating the “4 percent” Housing Credit and causing us to lose out on building or preserving more than 800,000 affordable homes over the next decade. The fact that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act retains both the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds is a testament to the success and critical nature of these programs, as well as our continued advocacy.

House and Senate Announce Agreement on Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

House and Senate Republican leadership have reportedly struck a general agreement on tax reform legislation, reconciling the House- and Senate-passed versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1. We expect them to file this final legislation, commonly known as the conference report, before the end of the week. While there have been press reports on various aspects of the agreement, including those about private activity bonds (PABs), we do not expect to know the official details or see bill language until tomorrow. The conference committee held an open meeting yesterday, which was largely ceremonial because the agreement itself was not released ahead of the meeting, and Democratic conferees expressed concern that they did not yet know the details of the deal. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill early next week, with the House following shortly thereafter.

Media and congressional sources have reported that both the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and PABs will be retained in the new version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. We do not yet know, however, whether there will be any restrictions on the use of PABs that may impact affordable housing. This week ACTION sent a letter to Congress urging them to fully retain the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds, and to reject any modifications to the PAB program that in any way would restrict or reduce the use of Housing Bonds.

We are still awaiting clarity around several other issues affecting affordable housing:

  • Changes to the Housing Credit: The Senate-passed tax reform bill included several modifications to the Housing Credit, originating from an amendment authored by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS):
    • Replacing the existing Housing Credit general public use requirement exception for artist housing with one for veterans. Though we expect this provision to remain in the bill, changes may be made to ensure existing artists' housing is not at risk for tax credit recapture.
    • Making properties in rural areas eligible to receive a basis boost. This provision is likely to remain in the final bill.
    • Reducing the maximum basis boost for all types of boost-eligible developments from 130 to 125 percent. Senator Roberts has requested this provision be removed from the final bill, however we do not yet know if it has been. 
  • The corporate tax rate: The latest reports indicate that the top corporate rate will be set at 21 percent, and would go into effect on January 1, 2018. We do not expect Congress to provide any adjustment to offset the negative impact the lower corporate tax rate would have on Housing Credit production in this bill. 
  • The base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT): The Senate-passed tax bill’s BEAT provision would reduce, or potentially eliminate, the value of Housing Credit investment to certain investors.  We do not know whether the final agreement will make changes to prevent the loss of Housing Credit investment that might occur if the Senate language is adopted in the final bill. 

We will provide another update once the new version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act becomes available.

Senate Announces Conferees, Outreach Needed NOW to Save Housing Bonds

Yesterday the Senate approved its motion to go to conference with the House to negotiate tax reform legislation and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced the Senate's Republican conferees.

Senate Finance Conferees:

  • Conference Chair: Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) *Republican sponsor of Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548)
  • Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) 
  • Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) *co-sponsor of S. 548
  • Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) *co-sponsor of S. 548
  • Senator John Thune (R-SD)
  • Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) 

Conferees on other committees:

  • Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY)
  • Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) *co-sponsor of S. 548

Conferees that are not Finance Committee members will deal primarily with issues under the jurisdiction of their own committees that do not impact the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds. 

The Senate will also appoint Democratic conferees, whose influence will be limited.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi earlier this week separately announced the Republican and Democratic members of the conference committee in that chamber.  

House Ways and Means Conferees:

  • Conference Chair: Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX-8)
  • Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA-22)
  • Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL-6)
  • Representative Diane Black (R-TN-6)
  • Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD-at large) *co-sponsor of Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1661)
  • Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA-1)
  • Representative Sander Levin (D-MI-9)
  • Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35)

House Conferees on other committees:

  • Natural Resources Committee Chariman Rob Bishop (R-UT-1)
  • Representative Don Young (R-AK-at large) *co-sponsor of H.R. 1661
  • Energy and Commerce Energy Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI-6), (replaced Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR-2) who Ryan had earlier appointed to the conference committee)
  • Representative John Shimkus (R-IL-15) *co-sponsor of H.R. 1661

As with the Senate conferees, the House conferees on committees other than Ways and Means are on the conference committee in order to focus on issues under the jurisdiction of their own committee, and not tax issues. 

The House and Senate conferees will now begin the formal work of reconciling differences between the House and Senate tax reform bills, though informal negotiations have been ongoing between leadership for several weeks. 

While all of the tax committee members on the conference committee will play important roles in determining the outcome of the tax provisions in the bill, we expect that final decisions will be made by leadership -- McConnell, Ryan, Hatch, and Brady -- and influencing those members remains our primary focus.

Retaining Housing Bonds is our top priority in conference. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady has suggested that a compromise on retaining private activity bonds could include limiting their uses to infrastructure, specifically airports and surface transportation.

In your outreach to all Republican members, emphasize that we must specifically retain multifamily Housing Bonds.

This week is absolutely critical for advocacy, and all ACTION members should be reaching out to Republican members to make the case for preserving multifamily Housing Bonds in conference. Please reach out to all Republican members, including those that are not conferees, asking them to weigh in with leadership and the conferees.  

In the early hours of the morning this past Saturday, the Senate passed its tax reform bill, which retains the Housing Credit and multifamily Housing Bonds. The House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would retain the Housing Credit, but repeal private activity bonds, including multifamily Housing Bonds. If Housing Bonds are repealed, roughly 800,000 affordable homes would not be built or preserved over the next decade, according to analysis from Novogradac & Company. See our overview of the provisions in the House and Senate tax reform bills impacting affordable housing. 

Visit our Advocacy Toolkit for updated sample letters to members of Congress, talking points on Housing Bonds and more.

House Appoints Conference Committee, Outreach Needed Immediately

Yesterday the House approved a motion to go to conference to reconcile differences between the House and Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The House Republican conferees are:

  • Conference Chair: Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX-8)
  • Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA-22)
  • Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL-6)
  • Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-6)
  • Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD-at large) *co-sponsor of Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1661)
  • Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT-1)
  • Rep. Don Young (R-AK-at large) *co-sponsor of H.R. 1661
  • Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR-2)
  • Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL-15) *co-sponsor of H.R. 1661

House Democratic conferees were also appointed, though their influence will be limited: Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA-1) (the lead Democrat on the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act), Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI-9), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35), Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-3) and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14).

The Senate has not yet announced its conferees or voted to go to conference, but ACTION members should begin outreach to House Republican conferees immediately to make the case for preserving Housing Bonds. Republican members who are not on the conference committee should still weigh in with leadership and the conferees.  

Over the weekend the Senate passed its tax reform bill, which retains the Housing Credit and multifamily Housing Bonds. The House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would retain the Housing Credit, but repeal private activity bonds, including multifamily Housing Bonds. If Housing Bonds are repealed, roughly 800,000 affordable homes would not be built or preserved over the next decade, according to analysis from Novogradac & Company.

See our overview of the provisions in the House and Senate tax reform bills impacting affordable housing and our priorities in conference. Our top priority as the House and Senate head to conference is the preservation of multifamily Housing Bonds, which face risk of elimination. 

Visit our Advocacy Toolkit for updated sample letters to members of Congress, talking points on Housing Bonds and more.

Senate Passes Tax Reform Bill, Urgent Action Needed to Protect Housing Bonds in Conference

Last night the Senate passed its version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” by a vote of 51 - 49. All Democrats voted against the bill, in addition to Senator Bob Corker (R-TN). The Senate version of the bill retains the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and private activity bonds, including multifamily Housing Bonds, which are essential for the production of roughly half of Housing Credit developments because they trigger the 4 percent Housing Credit. The Senate bill also makes several modifications directly and indirectly impacting the Housing Credit, outlined below.

The next step is for the two chambers to reconcile the differences between their bills. The House is expected to vote to proceed to a conference on Monday evening, and we expect negotiations to begin in earnest next week. It is also still possible that the House will forego a conference and instead vote on the Senate-passed version of the bill; however, at this point indications are that they will seek to conference their bills. 

The House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would retain the Housing Credit, but repeal private activity bonds, including multifamily Housing Bonds. If Housing Bonds are repealed, roughly 800,000 affordable homes would not be built over the next decade, according to analysis from Novogradac & Company. See state-by-state estimates of the impact  of eliminating Housing Bonds here.

Our top priority as the House and Senate head to conference is the preservation of multifamily Housing Bonds, which face risk of elimination. See our talking points on Housing Bonds and reach out to your Republican Senators and Representatives over the weekend insisting that Housing Bonds be retained in the final tax reform bill.

Earlier this week Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14) sent a letter to House and Senate leadershipsigned by twenty additional Republican representatives urging for the restoration of private activity bonds, focusing on the need for bonds to support investments in our nation’s infrastructure and affordable housing for low- to moderate-income families. We encourage anyone represented by one of these members to thank them and ask for their continued support in a final bill.

We ask ACTION members to focus your energy squarely on protecting tax-exempt multifamily Housing Bonds. Please keep up your calls to members of Congress, especially Republicans, to make sure they understand all that is at stake. Make sure they are talking to their leadership and letting them know how important it is that they retain Housing Bonds in the final package.   

Modifications to the Housing Credit

The new version of the bill includes an amendment filed by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), which would make several additional changes to the Housing Credit:

  • Replace the existing Housing Credit general public use requirement exception for artist housing with one for veterans. Removing the current law safe harbor would put all existing artists' housing at risk for tax credit recapture, and
  • Treat rural areas as difficult development areas for purposes of receiving a basis boost. This provision is offset by reducing the maximum basis boost for all types of boost-eligible developments from 130 to 125 percent. The reduced basis boost could make some properties financially infeasible, particularly properties that have begun the development process but have not yet been placed in service, and we have and will continue to express those concerns as final negotiations progress. 

The version of the bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee included several no-cost proposals to strengthen the Housing Credit, taken from the Cantwell-Hatch Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548), but these provisions were not included in the version of bill that was voted on last night.

Other Provisions Impacting the Housing Credit

The Senate bill would lower the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent, which would reduce the tax benefits associated with the Housing Credit, credit pricing and ultimately affordable housing production. We will continue to seek a compensatory adjustment to sustain affordable housing production in a lower corporate rate environment in future tax legislation.

In addition, there is a provision related to a “base erosion and anti-abuse” tax that would eliminate banks’ ability to use the Housing Credit to offset certain taxes related to foreign earnings and earnings going to foreign parent companies, which will impact some Housing Credit investors.

We will continue to advocate to sustain affordable housing production in light of these changes.

Updated on December 4See how the House and Senate versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would affect affordable housing development using the Housing Credit.

Bipartisan Policy Center Finds Link between the Housing Credit and Public Health

A new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center, Building the Case: Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Health, uses the robust evidence base linking affordable housing to better health outcomes to conclude “the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit contributes positively to the nation’s public health.” As the primary source of financing for virtually all new affordable housing, there are many proven successes of the social, economic and education benefits of Housing Credit properties for families and communities. This report gathers research to support the less studied connection between the Housing Credit and health.

Highlights from the report:

  • The health of children is most positively impacted by affordable housing. Several studies found that children in unaffordable housing have higher rates of mental health problems, often lack basic access to primary pediatric care, suffer from behavioral or emotional problems due to frequent moving, experience poor nutrition and hospitalization and suffer from other health consequences due to unsafe housing conditions.
  • Incorporating supportive services in affordable housing – a growing trend in Housing Credit developments – improves health outcomes for residents and may have the potential to save health care costs for both patients and health care systems. One study found that combining affordable housing with intensive services for chronically ill homeless adults saved on average of $6,000 a year per person in health care costs.
  • When housing cost burdens are lowered, families are more easily able to afford healthy lifestyles and necessary health care services. High housing cost burdens were found to result in high prescription-drug non-adherence, poorer self-reported health issues and higher food insecurity.

The report also explores innovative efforts to leverage the Housing Credit to provide better individual and community health. Most notably, the incorporation of Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) into the development of state Qualified Allocation Plans (QAP) that govern how Housing Credits are awarded. HIA’s examine data, stakeholder comments and subject matter expertise to evaluate the potential public health consequences of policies and provide recommendations for minimizing negative health impacts and amplifying positive ones.

Though more research is required to demonstrate the specific ways Housing Credit-financed projects can impact heath, the growing evidence to support the linkage of affordable housing to improvements in health draws the logical conclusion that the Housing Credit is a critical policy tool for bettering the nation’s public health. As Congress moves quickly on tax reform, this provides yet another reason to sustain the pillars of our affordable housing delivery system – the Housing Credit and multifamily Housing Bonds.

ACTION Update: Senate to Vote on Tax Reform Bill this Week + More

Senate to Vote on Tax Reform Bill this Week; House-Passed Bill Eliminates Housing Bond Program

The Senate is beginning debate today on its tax reform bill. Leadership is now considering final modifications to the bill to shore up support among Republican members in advance of moving the bill to the floor for a vote, which could happen as early as tomorrow. The Senate needs only a simple 50-vote majority to the pass the bill.  

The version of the bill that was passed out of the Senate Finance Committee two weeks ago retains both the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and private activity bonds, including multifamily Housing Bonds, and includes several no-cost provisions to strengthen the Housing Credit; however, a new version of the bill that reflects modifications agreed to since then may be introduced at any time before the vote.

Earlier this month the House approved its version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” which retains the Housing Credit but would eliminate the tax-exemption on private activity bonds, including multifamily Housing Bonds. As written, this bill would reduce the future supply of affordable rental housing by nearly one million homes. Since then, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14) has spearheaded a congressional Republican sign-on letter to House and Senate leadership opposing the proposed elimination of tax-exempt private activity bonds in the House’s tax reform bill, focusing on the need for bonds to support investments in our nation’s infrastructure and affordable housing for low- to moderate-income families. Twenty-one House Republicans, including Representative Hultgren, signed onto the letter. 

At this time, it is unclear whether the House and Senate will have a formal conference to reconcile differences between their bills, or if the Senate will make changes to its bill prior to its passage on the floor that would be palatable enough for House Republicans to pass that chamber unchanged.  

ACTION’s top priority is ensuring the preservation of the Housing Credit and multifamily Housing BondsAll ACTION members should continue to reach out to Republican Senators and Representatives to urge them to contact their leadership and tax committee chairs to insist that the final legislation preserve these critical programs. While we remain concerned about the impact of the lower corporate tax rate on affordable housing and will continue to seek opportunities to make changes to sustain affordable housing production in light of a reduced corporate tax rate, the threat of the elimination of Housing Bonds requires our full attention.

Outreach to the Senate:

  • We urge everyone to reach out to your Republican senators, both on and off the Finance Committee, and urge them to communicate to Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) their support for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds, and tell them to make sure they retain these programs in the final legislation as negotiated with the House. 

Outreach to the House:

  • Urge your Republican House members to communicate to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) their support for retaining the Housing Credit and restoring Housing Bonds in any final legislation as negotiated with the Senate.

See our Advocacy Toolkit for:

Bipartisan Policy Center Report Suggests the Housing Credit Contributes to the Nation’s Public Health

A new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center, Building the Case: Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Health, finds that “the robust evidence base linking affordable housing to better health outcomes… makes it reasonable to believe that the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit contributes positively to the nation’s public health.” The report also finds that properties financed by the Housing Credit have contributed to social, economic, and educational benefits for communities and families; reduced homelessness; helped low-income families free up valuable dollars to spend on healthy food and health care services; and contributed to positive health outcomes, particularly for populations with special health needs such as HIV, asthma, or substance use disorders.

National and Local Media Highlight Impact of Tax Reform on Affordable Housing

The impact of tax reform on affordable housing has been covered in numerous local and national media outlets. See our Housing Credit in the News page to see the round-up of stories and op-eds, and check back often for the latest.

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

Rep. Hultgren Circulates Letter in Support of Private Activity Bonds, Outreach Needed

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14) is circulating a letter to House and Senate leadership opposing the proposed elimination of tax exempt private activity bonds in the House’s version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), focusing on the need for private activity bonds to support investments in our nation’s infrastructure. The letter also objects to the elimination of advanced refunding bonds in the House bill. “Private activity bonds finance exactly the sorts of public private partnerships of which we need more of, not less,” the letter states. “These bonds help finance housing for low- to moderate-income families that otherwise would not get built; toll roads and expressways, airports and seaports; hospitals and universities.”

Rep. Hultgren will be adding Republican signatories from both the House and the Senate until noon on Monday, Nov. 27. Please urge your Republican Senators and Representatives to sign on by contacting Bill Hulse at bill.hulse@mail.house.gov in Rep. Hultgren’s office.

Eliminating private activity bonds would have a devastating effect on affordable housing. Multifamily Housing Bonds, which are a type of private activity bond, provide critical financing to more than half of all Housing Credit developments annually by triggering the “4 percent” Housing Credit. Without multifamily Housing Bonds, this housing simply would not be built. See our talking points on Housing Bonds.

According to Novogradac & Co., the proposed elimination of private activity bonds would result in a loss of roughly 788,000 to 881,000 affordable rental homes over the next decade. See how many affordable homes would be lost in your state. While the Senate version of the tax reform bill would retain private activity bonds, their inclusion in any final tax bill is incumbent on continued advocacy.

In addition to advocating for the preservation of Housing Bonds, we also continue to urge Senators to adopt a proposal that would sustain Housing Credit investment in light of the lower corporate rate. See our recent blog post on the latest developments in tax reform and advocacy needed, and visit our Advocacy Toolkit for more materials to assist in your outreach.

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

House Passes Tax Reform Bill, Senate Finance Committee Sends Tax Reform Bill to Floor

Yesterday the House approved its version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” by a vote of 227 - 205, with all Democrats and 13 Republicans voting against it. While the bill retains the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), the House did not include any changes during the mark-up that would restore private activity bonds, including Housing Bonds, nor were there changes to sustain Housing Credit production in a lower corporate tax rate environment. As written, this bill would reduce our future supply of affordable rental housing by nearly one million homes.

Yesterday the Senate Finance Committee also advanced its version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” out of committee on a party-line vote of 14 - 12. The Senate bill retains both the Housing Credit and private activity bonds and includes several no-cost provisions to strengthen the Housing Credit, taken from the Cantwell-Hatch Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548). While the Finance Committee did not make further modifications to the bill to address the impact of the lower corporate rate on the Housing Credit, bipartisan discussion around this issue suggests there is genuine interest in addressing the concern as the bill moves forward. However, without this change, the Senate bill would reduce the future supply of affordable rental housing by over 200,000 homes.

The House and Senate are now in recess until after Thanksgiving. We expect the Senate to consider its bill on the floor when they return to Congress the week of November 27. At this point, it is not clear whether the House and Senate will have a formal conference to resolve differences between their bills or if there will be more informal negotiations either in advance of or following Senate passage of the bill on the floor. 

If House and Senate leaders decide to undertake informal negotiations over the Thanksgiving recess in advance of Senate passage, it is likely that a new version of the bill reflecting those negotiations will be considered on the Senate floor, rather than the version of the bill that cleared the Committee yesterday. The House would then be expected to take up the negotiated version of the Senate bill once it clears the Senate and pass it without further modifications. 

This may be our last opportunity to influence the process before House and Senate leaders negotiate a final bill, and while the Senate bill is far better for affordable housing, congressional leaders will be under significant pressure from many different interest parties to retain various tax breaks while staying within the $1.5 trillion cost allowed by the Budget Resolution for a reconciliation bill. It is incumbent on us that we further step up our advocacy to make sure that the final bill retains both the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds, and leaves our affordable housing delivery system at least as strong as it is today.

Outreach to the Senate:

  • If you have Republican Senate Finance Committee members, thank them for retaining both the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in the legislation and for including in the bill additional provisions to strengthen the Housing Credit
  • We urge everyone to also reach out to your senators, both on and off the Finance Committee and especially Republicans, and urge them to communicate to Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) their support for the Housing Credit and Bonds, and tell them to make sure they retain these programs in the final legislation as negotiated with the House. 
  • Also, urge your Senators to tell Chairman Hatch and Leader McConnell to make further changes to the legislation to sustain affordable housing production in light of the lower corporate rate.

Outreach to the House:

  • Thank your Republican House members for retaining the Housing Credit, but tell them that the bill as written would have a devastating impact on affordable housing by virtue of eliminating Housing Bonds. If possible give them examples of properties in their districts that would not have been built without Housing Bonds, and explain the overall impact on your state (state by state impact numbers are provided in the Novogradac links below). 
  • Urge your Republican House members to communicate to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) their support for retaining the Housing Credit and restoring Housing Bonds in any final legislation as negotiated with the Senate.
  • Urge your Republican House members to tell Chairman Brady and Speaker Ryan that Congress must sustain affordable housing production in light of the lower corporate rate.

See our Advocacy Toolkit for:

We will not be holding the monthly ACTION Campaign call that would have fallen on Friday, November 24, but if you have any questions please contact Emily Cadik, Director, Public Policy, Enterprise Community Partners, at ecadik@enterprisecommunity.org or 202-403-8015, or Jennifer Schwartz, Assistant Director for Tax Policy and Advocacy, National Council of State Housing Agencies, at jschwartz@ncsha.org or 202-624-7758.

New Senate Tax Reform Bill Adds Provisions to Strengthen Housing Credit, but Additional Changes Needed

Last night Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) released a “modified chairman’s mark” — an updated version of the Senate’s tax reform legislation from which the Committee will now work — that includes several changes relevant to the Housing Credit.

The new version of the bill still retains the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and private activity bonds, including multifamily Housing Bonds. It also adds several no-cost proposals to strengthen the Housing Credit, taken from the Cantwell-Hatch Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548), which would: 

  • Allow for a reasonable restoration period after a casualty loss (Sec. 302)
  • Replace the existing nonprofit right of first refusal with a purchase option to help nonprofit sponsors keep properties affordable for the long term (Sec. 303)
  • Clarify that state Housing Credit agencies have the authority to determine what constitutes community revitalization, with broad parameters, for purposes of determining whether properties are eligible for a basis boost by virtue of being located in a Qualified Census Tract and contributing to a “concerted community revitalization plan” (Sec. 307)
  • Prohibit local approval and contribution requirements in order to prevent NIMBY opposition from interfering with Housing Credit development (Sec. 308)
  • Require that states add a selection criteria to their Qualified Allocation Plans for housing that serves the needs of Native Americans (Sec. 401)
  • Rename the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to the "Affordable Housing Tax Credit" (Sec. 501)

See our bill summary for more information about these provisions. Because many of the other broadly-supported provisions in the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would cost money (though in many cases minimally), they were not included in the modified mark due to budgetary pressures. 

The bill does not, however, provide any changes to the Housing Credit to preserve its production potential in a 20 percent corporate tax rate environment. According to Novogradac & Co., absent any change to the Housing Credit, the lower corporate rate would translate into a loss of roughly 200,000 affordable rental homes over the next ten years. ACTION is strongly advocating for a modification that would preserve production levels so that the Housing Credit remains at least as robust a tool as it is today. 

ACTION needed:

  • Thank Chairman Hatch and other Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee for retaining the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds and for adding provisions to strengthen the Housing Credit. 
  • Urge your senators to communicate to Chairman Hatch and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) their support for the Housing Credit and Bonds, and tell them to make sure they retain these programs in the final legislation as negotiated with the House.
  • Urge Republican Senators to tell Chairman Hatch he must make further changes to the legislation to sustain affordable housing production in light of the lower corporate rate.

See our Advocacy Toolkit for an updated sample letter to Senators and other resources.

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

Senate GOP Tax Reform Bill Retains Housing Credit and Housing Bonds

Senate Tax Reform Bill Retains Housing Credit and Housing Bonds

Yesterday Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Senate’s version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” with significant differences from the House’s version released last week. The Senate bill would:

  • Retain the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), with no changes.
  • Retain private activity bonds, including multifamily Housing Bonds, which provide critical financing to more than half of all Housing Credit developments.
  • Lower the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, effective in 2019.  Neither the House nor the Senate bill makes any adjustments to sustain Housing Credit investment in light of the lower corporate rate.

We thank Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for rejecting the House tax reform bill’s elimination of private activity bonds – a proposal that would devastate affordable housing – and urge him to hold firm on this issue as this process progresses. We also call on Senator Hatch to make adjustments to the Housing Credit to offset the impact of the lower corporate tax rate on Housing Credit investment when he releases his modified “chairman’s mark,” prior to the Committee’s mark-up.

The Senate is expected to begin marking up its legislation Monday afternoon, and we are encouraging Republican Senators to weigh in with Chairman Hatch to express their support for the retention of both the Housing Credit and private activity bonds, and to support maintaining the productivity of the Credit in a lower corporate tax rate environment.

House Advances Tax Reform Bill Without Needed Improvements

Yesterday the House Ways and Means Committee also advanced its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on a party-line vote. The House version of the bill would retain the Housing Credit with no adjustments, but would devastate affordable housing production by eliminating the tax exemption on private activity bonds, including multifamily Housing Bonds.

While some changes to the bill were made during mark-up, none would reverse the bill’s harmful impacts on affordable housing – an estimated reduction of nearly one million affordable homes over the next decade. Though changes are still possible to the House bill, our best opportunity to impact the final outcome remains with the Senate. Still, advocates should capitalize on any opportunity to impact the House process by weighing in with House Republicans to urge them to speak out against the elimination of Housing Bonds and urge them to express their concerns to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX). This will help us position ourselves for upcoming negotiations between the House and Senate. Specifically tell your House members they must:

  • Retain multifamily Housing Bonds; and
  • Make adjustments to offset the impact of a lower corporate rate on Housing Credit investment to ensure that the amount of Housing Credit equity per development is not substantially decreased. 

See the ACTION Campaign statement on behalf of over 2,150 organizations and businesses calling on Congress to make these changes.

Action Needed

Reach out to Republican Senators to:

  • Thank them for retaining both the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds and urge them to tell Chairman Hatch to hold his ground by ensuring these programs are retained in a final bill; and
  • Ask that they convey support to Chairman Hatch for retaining the production power of the Housing Credit in a lower corporate rate environment. 

Reach out to Republican Representatives to:

  • Ask that they convey support to Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady for Restoring multifamily Housing Bonds; and
  • Ask them to tell Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady that they must also retain the Housing Credit's production power in a lower corporate tax rate environment. 

While we will continue to look for opportunities to advance the proposals in the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act through tax reform or other legislation, our most pressing priority in tax reform is preserving both the Housing Credit and Housing Bond programs, and sustaining Housing Credit investment.

Visit the ACTION Campaign website for more information and advocacy materials, including:

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

As House Wraps Up Tax Reform Mark-up, Senate Poised to Unveil Tax Reform Bill - Outreach Needed

The House Ways and Means Committee is completing consideration of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1" while the Senate prepares to release its own tax reform bill this week. Now is an absolutely critical time for the ACTION Campaign to weigh in with members of Congress to save multifamily Housing Bonds and the Housing Credit production that those bonds make possible. While we continue to try to pursue changes to the House bill before it goes to the floor for a vote, we must influence the Senate bill today before its expected release tomorrow

Just as the House has moved quickly on tax reform in recent weeks, the Senate will also follow an aggressive timeline, with the goal of advancing tax reform legislation through both chambers before Thanksgiving. Weighing in now is critical -- see below for more details, specific action items and advocacy tools.

Senate Tax Reform Bill

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to release its own tax reform legislation after the House concludes its mark-up, which could come as soon as tomorrow. Significant differences between the House and Senate bills are expected, and we are working to ensure the Senate's bill will retain Private Activity Bonds, and in particular, multifamily Housing Bonds. Housing Bonds are responsible for roughly half of Housing Credit production because they trigger the 4 percent Credit. Without these bonds, the 4 percent Credit program would be effectively eliminated. Outreach today is absolutely vital.

Action needed: Educate Senators about the connection between multifamily Housing Bonds and the Housing Credit, and the devastating impact of the House's bill on affordable housing. Ask Senators to convey their support to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for 1) retaining the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds, and 2) making other adjustments to the Housing Credit to offset the impact of a lower corporate rate.

House Tax Reform Bill

The House Ways and Means Committee has been marking up the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” this week, and intends to finalize the legislation and send it to the House floor for an anticipated vote next week. This bill would have devastating impacts on affordable housing production nationwide -- the proposed elimination of Private Activity Bonds and the reduction in the corporate tax rate without modifications to sustain Housing Credit production would reduce the future supply of affordable rental housing by nearly one million units, according to Novogradac & Co.

There has been no indication that the Committee intends to make substantive changes that impact affordable housing during the mark-up, either to restore the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds or to include modifications to sustain the Housing Credit's production potential under a reduced corporate tax rate. However, these types of changes to the bill may be made before it goes to the House floor for a vote. 

Action needed: Reach out to House Republicans, both on and off the Ways and Means Committee, asking that they reach out to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) to urge them to 1) preserve Housing Bonds, and 2) make other adjustments to the Housing Credit to offset the impact of a lower corporate tax rate. Ask them to at least publicly voice their concern about the impact of eliminating Private Activity Bonds, either as part of the Committee mark-up for members on the Ways and Means Committee, or in the press. 

Advocacy Materials

New resources have been added to the Advocacy Toolkit on the ACTION Campaign website to assist in your outreach efforts. These include:

Visit the ACTION Campaign website for more information and advocacy materials.

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

House GOP Tax Reform Bill Retains Housing Credit, But Repeals Housing Bonds

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has released the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (see bill text and summary), which would:

  • Lower the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, effective January 1, 2018.
  • Retain the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) with no proposed modifications.
  • Eliminate the tax exemption on private activity bonds, including multifamily Housing Bonds, which provide critical financing to roughly half of all Housing Credit developments. 

Despite maintaining the Housing Credit, the bill would devastate production under the program by eliminating private activity multifamily Housing Bonds. Over half of Housing Credit developments utilize tax-exempt bonds and 4 percent Housing Credits. Eliminating the tax exemption would eliminate these bond/4 percent transactions after 2017.

Coupled with the lower corporate tax rate, which would reduce investor interest in the Housing Credit without other changes to the Credit, the loss of Housing Bonds could reduce annual production by up to two-thirds annually.

Next Steps

Chairman Brady will develop a “chairman’s mark” over the weekend, which will include modifications to the legislative text released today – and provides an opportunity to weigh in to encourage the Committee to restore multifamily Housing Bonds and make other changes to offset the negative impact of other tax reforms. The House Ways and Means Committee will begin its mark-up of the legislation on Monday, November 6, which may last several days before it is sent to the House floor.

The Senate is expected to release its own legislation as soon as next week, with a mark-up the week of November 13. We do not expect the Senate bill to mirror the House bill and will be working to ensure that the Senate understands the devastating impact of the House’s bill on affordable housing. The goal is for each chamber to pass tax reform legislation on the floor by Thanksgiving, work out the differences in a conference committee in December, and have the President sign tax reform into law by the end of the year.

Action Needed

Now is a critical time to weigh in with members of Congress urging them to:

  • Preserve the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds. Without Housing Bonds, Housing Credit development could be reduced by as much or more than 50 percent annually.
  • Make adjustments to offset the impact of a lower corporate rate on Housing Credit investment to ensure that the amount of Housing Credit equity per development is not substantially decreased. More detailed proposals on the adjustments needed are forthcoming, but in the meantime we encourage advocates to simply convey the message that modifications will be needed.

ACTION has released a statement that we encourage you to send to your representatives.

Visit the Advocacy Toolkit for more resources to advocate for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds.

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

Congress Passes Budget Resolution Laying Groundwork for Tax Reform

The House narrowly passed the Senate’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget resolution today in a move that formally paves the way for Congress to pass tax reform legislation through the reconciliation process, allowing legislation to pass with only 50 votes in the Senate, as the Vice President could act as the tie breaker if the votes are evenly split. The budget resolution also allows the federal government to increase its debt by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years in order to lower tax rates.

Last month, Administration and Congressional Republican leadership released a “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code,” which seeks to lower the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent and eliminate “numerous” corporate tax expenditures in order to help achieve the lower rate. The Housing Credit is one of only two corporate tax expenditures that the framework explicitly proposed to retain. The framework is silent on the tax-exemption for multifamily Housing Bonds, which provide critical financing to nearly half of all Housing Credit projects, although it is our understanding from various reports that the authors of the framework have a general agreement to fully retain the tax-exemption on municipal bonds, which include Housing Bonds.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) is expected to release the text of the Committee’s tax reform legislation on November 1, with the goal of holding a markup the week of November 6th and a full vote in the House the week of November 13th. The Senate is expected to follow closely behind the House, with a potential markup in the Senate Finance Committee the week of November 13th. The White House has also set an aggressive timeline by signaling its desire to have President Trump sign a tax reform bill into law before the year's end.

The tax reform process will move quickly over the come weeks, so now is a critical time for all Housing Credit stakeholders to reach out to Congress in support of the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds. Last week the ACTION Campaign sent a letter to Congress and the Administration signed by over 2,150 organizations and businesses, urging them to retain the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds, enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, and make any other adjustments needed to ensure that the Housing Credit is not negatively impacted by a lower corporate rate or other changes in tax reform. Visit our Advocacy Toolkit for more resources to advocate for preserving, strengthening and expanding the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in tax reform.

October ACTION Update: 2,150 Organizations Urge Congress to Preserve, Strengthen and Expand the Housing Credit

ACTION Sends Letter to Congress in Support of the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in Tax Reform

The ACTION Campaign sent a letter to Congress and the Administration last week on behalf of 2,152 national, state and local organizations and businesses in support of the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in tax reform. The letter thanks congressional and administration Republican leadership for recognizing the value of the Housing Credit in the “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code,” and urges lawmakers to not only retain the Housing Credit in tax reform, but to also make the following modifications to modernize our affordable housing delivery system:

  • Retain the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds,
  • Enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, and
  • Make adjustments to the Housing Credit to ensure its production potential is not negatively impacted by other changes in tax reform.

We would like to welcome the more than 100 new ACTION Campaign members who signed our letter to Congress and joined our efforts to advocate to preserve, strengthen and expand the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds.

Tax Reform Process Advances, Rep. Tiberi Announces Departure from Congress

The Senate passed its fiscal year 2018 budget resolution last week, which includes language that paves the way for tax reform to advance through budget reconciliation and allows lawmakers to add up to $1.5 trillion to the deficit in tax cuts. Though the House had passed its own budget resolution earlier this month with significant differences from the Senate’s resolution, the House is expected to vote on the Senate’s budget resolution this week in hopes of avoiding a conference between the two chambers and expediting the tax reform process.

Meanwhile, Congress is proceeding with negotiating and drafting tax reform legislation. House Ways and Means Committee Republicans are meeting this week with the goal of finalizing tax reform details, and are expected to release draft legislation as soon as this week, with a markup to follow shortly after. The coming weeks and months as tax reform details are negotiated will be critical for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds.

Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12), the lead Republican sponsor on the House version of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1661) and a longtime champion of the Housing Credit, announced last week that he will leave Congress no later than January 31, 2018, nearly a year before his term ends. ACTION thanks Rep. Tiberi for his longstanding leadership on affordable housing, and will work with Rep. Tiberi to identify a new lead House Republican champion for the Housing Credit.

Housing Credit Legislation Gains New Co-Sponsors

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act continues to gain strong bipartisan support in both the House (H.R. 1661) and Senate (S. 548). Eight additional co-sponsors have joined the House bill since last month, including Representatives Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1), Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-4), Daniel Donovan (R-NY-11), Ryan Costello (R-PA-6), Luis Correa (D-CA-46), Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10), and Beto O’Rourke (D-TX-16). With 56 Democratic co-sponsors and 53 Republican co-sponsors, H.R. 1661 has more than one-quarter of the House signed on in support of the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds, a tremendous display of support for the program heading into tax reform.

The Senate version of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548) also continues to gain support, with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joining as a new co-sponsor this month. This brings the total number of co-sponsors to 21, with 11 Democrats, one Independent and nine Republican co-sponsors.

New Fact Sheets Highlight the Impact of the Housing Credit for Native American and Supportive Housing Populations

ACTION has released two new fact sheets that highlight how the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act will improve the development of affordable rental housing for Native Americans and for households needing supportive housing services. These new fact sheets are part of a series that depicts how the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act can benefit specific communities. Earlier fact sheets identified the Housing Credit’s benefits for rural and senior communities, as well as the preservation and recapitalization of existing affordable housing. Access these fact sheets, along with other advocacy resources to support the Housing Credit, in ACTION’s Advocacy Toolkit.

More Than 2,150 Organizations and Businesses Send Letter to Congress in Support of the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds

The ACTION Campaign sent a letter to Congress today on behalf of more than 2,150 national, state and local organizations and businesses thanking Republican leadership for recognizing the value of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) in the “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code,” and urging lawmakers to not only preserve the credit, but to include the following provisions to strengthen and modernize our affordable housing delivery system:

  • Retain the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds,
  • Enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, and
  • Make adjustments to the Housing Credit to ensure its production potential is not negatively impacted by other changes in tax reform.

Read the letter and view a list of signatories here.

The Housing Credit was one of only two corporate tax expenditures that the Administration and Congressional Republican leadership explicitly proposed to retained in their tax reform framework, noting that it is a tax incentive that has “proven to be effective in promoting policy goals important in the American economy.” However, the framework was silent on multifamily Housing Bonds and private activity bonds generally. It is our understanding from various reports that the authors of the framework have a general agreement to fully retain the tax-exemption on municipal bonds, which include Housing Bonds, but now is a critical time to reinforce the importance of doing so.

Now that the House and Senate have passed their respective budget resolutions that lay the groundwork for tax reform, the House is expected to vote on the Senate's version next week, after which the House and Senate tax-writing committees will move quickly to try to finalize tax reform before the end of the year. The House Ways and Means Committee is aiming to hold a markup of a tax bill in the next few weeks, with the Senate to follow soon after. The coming weeks and months, as congressional tax-writers finalize these details, will be critical for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds.

We thank all new organizations and businesses for joining the ACTION Campaign and urge all ACTION members to visit our Advocacy Toolkit to find resources to advocate for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds.

Deadline Extended to Sign on to Support the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in Tax Reform

The deadline to sign on to the ACTION Campaign letter to Congress and the Administration has been extended to Tuesday, October 17. Please sign on and share with your networks today. Thank you to everyone who has already signed on to show strong support for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in tax reform.

The letter thanks Republican congressional and administration leadership for recognizing the value of the Housing Credit in their unified framework for tax reform, and urges them to not only preserve the credit, but to include the following provisions to strengthen and modernize our affordable housing delivery system:

  • Retain the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds,
  • Enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, and
  • Make adjustments to the Housing Credit to ensure its production potential is not negatively impacted by other changes in tax reform.

Read the letter, sign on and share.

There are currently 2,103 organizations and businesses signed on to the letter in support of the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds. Please check the list of ACTION members to make sure that your organization has signed on, and share the letter with your networks to help us show broad support for the Housing Credit. 

If you have any questions or want to remove your organization from the letter, contact Emily Cadik at ecadik@enterprisecommunity.org before the October 17 deadline.    

Sign on to Support the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in Tax Reform

Administration and Congressional Republican leadership recently released their “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code,” which proposes to lower the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent, eliminate most corporate tax expenditures in order to help achieve the lower rate, and make numerous other changes to the existing tax system.

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) is one of only two corporate tax expenditures that the framework explicitly proposes to retain, noting that it is a tax incentive that has “proven to be effective in promoting policy goals important in the American economy.” While the framework does not speak to multifamily Housing Bonds, it is our understanding from various reports that the authors of the framework have a general agreement to fully retain the tax-exemption on municipal bonds, which include Housing Bonds. Read more about the framework and its impact on affordable housing.

Now that the framework has been released, the House and Senate tax-writing committees are negotiating details and drafting tax legislation. The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to hold a markup of a tax bill as early as the week of October 23, and the Senate will follow shortly after. The coming weeks and months, as congressional tax-writers finalize these details, will be critical for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds.

The ACTION Campaign is sending a letter to Congress and the Administration that thanks Republican congressional and administration leadership for recognizing the value of the Housing Credit, and urges them to not only preserve the credit, but to include the following provisions to strengthen and modernize our affordable housing delivery system:

  • Retain the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds,
  • Enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, and
  • Make adjustments to the Housing Credit to ensure its production potential is not negatively impacted by other changes in tax reform.

Read the letter and sign on. The deadline for signing on is Friday, October 13.

All existing ACTION Campaign members will be included in the letter, so if you are already an ACTION Campaign member you do NOT need to sign on. However, we encourage you to share the letter with your networks to help us show broad support for the Housing Credit. 

If you have any questions or want to remove your organization from the letter, contact Emily Cadik at ecadik@enterprisecommunity.org before the October 13 deadline.    

 

ACTION Campaign Submits Comments to Senate Finance Committee in Response to Hearing on Business Tax Reform

The ACTION Campaign submitted a statement for the record today in response to the Senate Finance Committee’s September 19 hearing on “Business Tax Reform.”

In our comments, we thank Chairman Hatch and Senator Cantwell for championing the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548), legislation to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit. We also highlight the important role that the Housing Credit plays in the current business tax system; the benefits that the Housing Credit has for low-income families; the jobs that are created and supported through Housing Credit development; and the economic stimulation that the Housing Credit generates for local economies and communities. 

We also urge the committee to protect both the Credit and multifamily Housing Bonds – a central component of the Housing Credit program – as part of any tax reform effort considered by Congress. As hearing witness Jeffrey D. DeBoer, President and CEO at the Real Estate Roundtable, wrote in his written testimony to the Committee, the Housing Credit is an example of a tax incentive that is “needed to address market failures and encourage capital to flow to socially desirable projects.”

Visit our Advocacy Toolkit for more information about efforts to protect, strengthen, and expand the Housing Credit.

New Fact Sheets Show Impact of Housing Credit in Every Congressional District

By Shaun-Dae Clark and Olivia Barrow

The ACTION Campaign’s district fact sheets, which show the Housing Credit’s impact in each congressional district and the affordable housing needs that still remain in every state, have been updated to reflect the most recent data available.

The data come from HUD’s LIHTC database through 2015, with economic impact multipliers from the National Association of Home Builders. The district fact sheets also include data on cost-burdened renters from the 2015 American Community Survey, and data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2015 Out of Reach report, showing how many hours a minimum wage worker in each state has to work in order to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment.

We also updated our state fact sheets earlier this month, showing that the Housing Credit has financed 3 million apartments nationwide, providing affordable homes to 7 million low-income families and supporting 3.4 million jobs. However, 11.1 million households still pay more than half of their income towards rent, and the average minimum wage worker has to work 86 hours per week in order to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment, underscoring the need to expand the Housing Credit and invest in communities across the country.