ACTION Alert: House Passes Infrastructure Package with Housing Credit Priorities, IRS Releases Covid-19 Guidance

Reminder: ACTION Campaign Monthly Call Rescheduled for TODAY, July 2

On account of the holiday weekend, the ACTION Campaign monthly call will be held a day early on Thursday, July 2 at 2:00 pm EST. Call-in information:

  • Phone number: 929-205-6099

  • Meeting ID: 193 634 880

  • Password: 256387

House Passes Moving Forward Act, Including Housing Credit Priorities

On July 1, the House of Representatives passed its infrastructure package, the Moving Forward Act, H.R. 2. The Moving Forward Act includes an expansive section to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit as well as provisions related to multifamily housing bonds (Housing Bonds). The package contains all of the ACTION Campaign’s Housing Credit legislative priorities for Covid-19 relief, including enacting a permanent minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate, lowering the “50 percent test” for bond-financing, and providing several basis boosts.

The bill now moves to the Senate; however, the Senate is expected to introduce is own infrastructure package. Nonetheless, the Moving Forward Act will hopefully set a precedent that Housing Credit and Housing Bond provisions should be included in any future infrastructure package.

IRS Provides Covid-19 Guidance for the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds

On July 1, the IRS published Notice 2020-53 providing temporary relief to owners and residents of Housing Credit and tax-exempt bond financed developments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The IRS guidance addresses nearly all of the issues raised in the letter that ACTION co-chair NCSHA sent to the IRS in March, and that many ACTION partners echoed in a sign-on letter.

Specific provisions of the notice include:

  • Extending the deadline for an owner of a building with a carryover allocation to meet the 10 percent test to December 31, 2020, if the original deadline was on or after April 1, 2020, and before December 31, 2020;

  • Extending the minimum rehabilitation expenditure period to December 31, 2020, if the original 24-month period ended on or after April 1, 2020, and before December 31, 2020;

  • Extending the reasonable restoration period in the event of casualty loss or prior major disaster to December 31, 2020, if the original deadline was on or after April 1, 2020, and before December 31, 2020;

  • Extending the transition period to meet the tax-exempt bond set-aside to December 31, 2020, if the original 12-month period ended on or after April 1, 2020, and before December 31, 2020;

  • Extending the tax-exempt bond rehabilitation expenditure period to December 31, 2020, if the original two-year period ended on or after April 1, 2020, and before December 31, 2020;

  • Suspending the owner requirement to perform tenant income recertifications for the period beginning April 1, 2020, and ending December 31, 2020;

  • Suspending the Housing Credit allocating agency requirement to conduct compliance monitoring inspections or reviews for the period beginning April 1, 2020, and ending December 31, 2020;

  • Allowing temporary closure of property amenities or common areas during the period from April 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic without resulting in a reduction of the eligible basis of the building; and

  • Allowing medical personnel or other essential workers providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic to temporarily occupy Housing Credit units in accordance with the emergency housing provisions of IRS Revenue Procedures 2014-49 and 2014-50.

Absent from Notice 2020-53 are requests from NCSHA and ACTION partners for the IRS to:

  • Provide a 12-month extension of the placed in service deadline as required in IRC Section 42(h)(1)(E)(i).

  • Provide a 12-month extension for all open noncompliance corrective action periods. State Housing Credit agencies should be allowed to reinstate deadlines depending on their assessment of the situation in their state and their ability to do so.

NCSHA and ACTION partners will continue to advocate for those regulatory relief measures.

Krista D'Alessandro is the 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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