March ACTION Update: Full MN Delegation Signs on to the AHCIA, Biden Housing Plan Includes Housing Credit

Join the ACTION Campaign Monthly Call on Friday, March 6

The ACTION Campaign Monthly Call will be held on Friday, March 6 at 2:00 pm EST. Call-in information:

  • Phone number: 929-205-6099

  • Meeting ID: 193 634 880

Housing Credit Highlights

Full Minnesota Delegation Signs On to the AHCIA

On February 18, Representative Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-1) cosponsored the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA), marking a new milestone of the full Minnesota congressional delegation supporting the bill. Both senators and all eight representatives in Minnesota have now cosponsored the bicameral legislation. In Minnesota alone, the Housing Credit has helped develop or preserve 59,210 affordable homes since the program’s inception in 1986. One of the hallmark provisions of the AHCIA would provide a 50% increase in allocation authority, which would generate nearly 6,000 additional affordable homes in Minnesota over the next ten years alone.

Minnesota joins six other states where the full delegation has cosponsored the AHCIA:  Alaska, Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Vermont. ACTION thanks our coalition members for their advocacy in building bipartisan support to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit. We encourage state and local advocates to join us in applauding the Congressional members for their leadership on affordable housing.

Senator Cantwell Promotes Housing Credit at Senate Finance Committee Hearing on President’s FY21 Budget

On February 12, the Senate Finance Committee held the hearing, “The President’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget.” Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was the sole witness, about the shortage of affordable housing and highlighted the Housing Credit as a solution. She stated: “Ninety percent of the affordable housing that is built is built with the tax credit, which means if we don’t expand the capacity for the credit, we’re not going to get more supply, and we certainly have a supply problem.”

She also specifically commented on the need to create a permanent 4 percent Housing Credit rate, a key provision of the AHCIA. She noted that this would “immediately provide more affordable housing in the marketplace by just the value of that credit being more determinate to those making these investments and getting the tax credits.” Secretary Mnuchin responded: “We do care about affordable housing…We would definitely be willing to work with you on the issue you just brought up.”

The ACTION Campaign applauds Senator Cantwell for her tireless championship of the Housing Credit. Click here to listen to Senator Cantwell’s full remarks and to watch the hearing, and click here to read Senator Cantwell’s related press release.

Policy Updates

OCC and FDIC Extend CRA Public Comment Period by 30 Days

On February 19, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced a 30-day extension to the comment period for the proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations. The new deadline for comments is Wednesday, April 8.

The proposed changes to the CRA are the first since 1995 and would strongly impact the Housing Credit, since an estimated 85 percent of Housing Credit investments are made by CRA-motivated institutions. The proposal would significantly alter how CRA-eligible activities are measured, and financial institutes would no longer be required to meet the separate investment, lending, and services tests but would instead be held to a single quantitative measurement standard. In addition, the list of qualifying activities eligible for CRA credit would expand. These changes, among others, could significantly shift investment away from affordable housing activities like the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds.

The ACTION Campaign encourages its members to submit comments calling for CRA modernization that incentivizes meaningful investments in affordable housing. Read the proposed rule and submit comments here.

Puerto Rico Earthquake Supplemental Appropriations Bill that Includes the Housing Credit Advances

On February 7, the House passed the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief and Puerto Rico Disaster Tax Relief Act, 2020 (H.R. 5687). Introduced by House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY-17) on January 28, the bill would provide $4.67 billion in assistance to Puerto Rico as they recover from a series of earthquakes, and includes a provision that would increase the Housing Credit ceiling for Puerto Rico in calendar year 2020 by $50 million. The bill has now moved to the Senate, where it will be subject to further negotiations.

Join the ACTION Campaign 

At more than 2,300 members, the ACTION Campaign is the largest umbrella coalition of national, state, and local organizations and businesses that support the Housing Credit. Our grassroots membership is our strength. The larger our membership base, the better we can demonstrate to Members of Congress that organizations and businesses in every community support strengthening and expanding the Housing Credit. If you are already an ACTION member, help us continue to grow by inviting your state and local partners to join our coalition.

Housing Credit In the News

  • On February 24, Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden released “The Biden Plan for Investing in Our Communities Through Housing,” a housing platform that aims to provide all Americans with access to “housing that is affordable, stable, safe and healthy, accessible, energy efficient and resilient.” The plan calls for expanding the Housing Credit authority by $10 billion, and notes that Biden would “ensure that urban, suburban, and rural areas all benefit from the credit.”

Krista D'Alessandro is the senior tax policy analyst at Enterprise Community Partners. The ACTION Campaign is co-chaired by Enterprise and the National Council of State Housing Agencies.

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