October ACTION Newsletter: Legislative State of Play

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Legislative State of Play

Housing Credit Provisions Advance in Build Back Better Bill, But Outlook Remains Uncertain

The House took another step forward in the negotiations around the Democrats’ Build Back Better bill, which could include up to $3.5 trillion in gross spending.  Because the bill is moving under the Budget Resolution’s reconciliation process, it would be able to pass in the Senate with a simple majority vote rather than the typical 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster.

The House Budget Committee met Saturday, September 25, to stich the various House committee proposals together, which comes amidst continued tensions between progressive and moderate Democrats on size and scope of the package, with moderates wanting to delay floor consideration until an agreement has been reached that can pass the Senate.  Negotiations between the chambers are ongoing and. Speaker Pelosi announced a framework would be released in the next couple of days during a press conference today.

The bill, as assembled by the Budget Committee from the pieces reported out by the relevant committees of jurisdiction, would provide the largest investment in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) program since its inception in 1986, including key financing provisions from the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA), S. 1136 and H.R.2573. ACTION Campaign co-chairs and a number of ACTION steering committee members sent a letter to congressional leadership last week, urging the enactment of these critical Housing Credit production provisions in the final reconciliation package.

While this movement has shown great support for the Housing Credit, the total cost of the legislation could be cut substantially in negotiations, as Democrats try to reach agreement with no margin for error in the Senate and very little in the House.  That means that even popular provisions like the Housing Credit are at significant risk of being cut from the final bill a members jostle over which priorities to sustain. ACTION is encouraging members to mobilize this week around this unique opportunity to enact several of our key AHCIA financing provisions and urge their Senators and Representatives to weigh in with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer. Because this will be a partisan legislative vehicle, the focus on outreach is to Democrats for this particular advocacy effort.

Cosponsorship Continues to Grow for AHCIA

ACTION is continuing to work with House and Senate congressional champions to grow support for the AHCIA, S. 1136 and H.R.2573. Currently, 113 members of the House have cosponsored the legislation, comprising of 66 Democrats and 47 Republicans, with 70 percent of Ways and Means Committee members signed-on. In the Senate, there are 28 cosponsors, including 18 Democrats and 10 Republicans, and 43 percent of Senate Finance Committee members. Check out ACTION’s full list of current cosponsors by state for more information on which of your Members of Congress have signed on.

ACTION Membership

The ACTION Campaign is grateful to the 2,400+ businesses, organizations, and industry partners from across the country who support our work to expand the Housing Credit. Help ACTION grow by asking affordable housing advocates in your networks who are not yet members to join the coalitionMembership is free. The more members that sign on, the better ACTION can demonstrate to Congress the widespread support for the Housing Credit across the country.

Housing Credit Research 

  • In Trust for America’s Health report, Leveraging Evidence-Based Policies to Improve Health, Control Costs, and Create Health Equity, strengthening and expanding the Housing Credit is recommended as one of the key affordable housing policies to promote positive health outcomes. This recommendation includes expanding the Housing Credit through adoption of legislation that supports the incentive, such as the AHCIA, increasing the Housing Credit allocation, and requiring extended use restrictions.

Housing Credit In the News

  • Housing Finance covered the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC)’s Edson Awards, which were presented during their annual conference on September 23. The nine 2021 awards honored developments that strengthen communities, improve resident opportunities, and support economies in urban, suburban, and rural areas across the country.

  • At the beginning of September, The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) can each invest up to $850 million annually in the LIHTC market, up from $500 million each. The increase in the investment cap would allow the GSEs to have about 7.5 percent of the market share according to Novogradac and Company.

  • In the rollout of the President’s 100,000 affordable homes plan, the White House Council of Economic Advisers said housing supply has fallen short of population growth for four decades. In the coverage, it noted that the Biden administration’s economic agenda would lead to the construction and renovation of 2 million homes, including through the Housing Credit.

  • In “Wyden seeks more for housing vouchers, tax credits,” The Portland Tribune provides an overview of the Decent, Affordable and Safe Housing (DASH) Act and its connection to negotiations on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation proposal in Congress.

  • In “Pandemic or not, it’s time to make affordable housing a bipartisan priority,” an op-ed authored by Ron Terwilliger that was published in The Hill, describes a partnership with the Bipartisan Policy Center to advance bipartisan affordable housing solutions, including the Housing Credit.

  • The Hill reports on the House Ways and Means Committee’s advancement of a key portion of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill, including the expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax 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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