Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Reintroduced; Join the ACTION Campaign in Building Support for the Legislation

Today, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Todd Young (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) of 2021, bipartisan legislation to strengthen and expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). The ACTION Campaign applauds these affordable housing Congressional champions for their leadership and support of the Housing Credit!

Both identical bicameral and bipartisan bills include a 50 percent increase in the 9 percent Housing Credit authority, phased in over two years, to address the increased and urgent need for affordable housing. The AHCIA also includes more than two dozen other provisions that would help preserve existing affordable housing, facilitate Housing Credit development for extremely low-income households and in hard-to-serve communities through basis boosts, and provide state Housing Credit allocating agencies new tools to strengthen program administration.

Key changes to the AHCIA of 2021 include: a new provision that would maximize affordable housing production and preservation by lowering the threshold of Private Activity Bond (PAB) financing – from 50 to 25 percent – required to trigger the maximum amount of 4 percent credits; an improvement to the Housing Credit student rule provision already in the AHCIA to clarify that formerly homeless youth and victims of human trafficking are eligible for affordable housing even if they are full-time students; and an update to the casualty loss provision also in the prior AHCIA to allow for a longer rebuilding period after natural disasters if necessary.

The three major unit financing provisions of the legislation – including the increase to the 9 percent Housing Credit allocation, lowering the PAB financing threshold to 25 percent, and provisions to extend the 30 percent basis boost to more properties – are estimated to finance more than 2 million affordable rental homes over 10 years.

For more information on the bill, please see the following resources, located on ACTION’s Advocacy Toolkit:

Visit www.rentalhousingaction.org for more information about our efforts to expand, strengthen, and protect the Housing Credit. Bill numbers for both the Senate and House legislation are forthcoming.

URGE YOUR PARTNERS TO JOIN THE ACTION CAMPAIGN AND SIGN-ON IN SUPPORT OF THE AHCIA!

The 117th Congress presents a crucial opportunity to move the needle on affordable housing by expanding and strengthening the Housing Credit. But to do that, we need to continue to show the expanding breadth of support for our cause. Therefore, the ACTION Campaign is renewing its efforts to grow and expand our grassroots coalition, and we invite you to help by urging your partners to get involved.

The power of the ACTION Campaign is in our numbers. More than 2,400 national, state, and local organizations and businesses have already joined ACTION in order to address the country’s severe shortage of affordable rental housing by protecting, expanding, and strengthening the Housing Credit.

ACTION Campaign membership is freeThrough our newsletters and field alerts, we update our members with the latest developments on advancing legislation to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit. ACTION members have access to custom advocacy materials, such as state- or district-specific talking points, fact sheets, and more, to support outreach to members of Congress.

The time to become an ACTION member is now, as ACTION is getting ready to send Congress a letter in support of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. Make sure your partners (developers, local affordable housing organizations, contractors, property management firms—anyone who participates in affordable housing utilizing the Housing Credit!) are listed on the letter by urging them to join the ACTION Campaign today!

All existing ACTION Campaign members will be included in the letter, so if you are already an ACTION Campaign member there is nothing more you need to do to be included. Instead, please help us by sharing the letter with your networks to grow our membership and show broad support for the Housing Credit.

If you have any questions or wish to remove your organization from the letter, contact Krista D’Alessandro at kdalessandro@enterprisecommunity.org by the April 22 deadline.

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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