February Monthly Update: Legislative State of Play & Other Housing Credit News

The ACTION Campaign monthly call will be held on Friday, February 4 at 2:00 PM EST. Please find the Zoom call information below, and download and import the iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

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Legislative State of Play

The House and the Senate officially return from Congressional recess this week, and it is looking to be a busy legislative month ahead for both chambers. Congress is quickly approaching the February 18 deadline to pass an annual appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2022. If negotiators are unable to come to an agreement on FY 2023 annual spending levels, they could either pass another short-term continuing resolution (CR), to give themselves more time to negotiate on FY 2023, or they could pass a year-long CR, maintaining federal spending at FY 2022 levels for the remainder of the fiscal year. In addition, once President Biden nominates a new justice to the Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, the Senate will be busy with hearings in the Judiciary Committee and then floor consideration of that nomination.

These pressing, time-sensitive items on their legislative agenda create some uncertainty about the timing for Senate action on the Build Back Better Act (BBB). As reported in ACTION’s previous monthly newsletter, BBB momentum stalled at the end of last year with Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) opposition to the cost and content of several proposals in the $1.7 trillion package passed by the House in November. While the White House and Congressional Leadership expect to resume negotiations soon, the size and scope of the eventual legislation is uncertain.

But, one thing that is certain: the best chance for implementing the Housing Credit production provisions is to maintain strong, strategic advocacy as the negotiations continue. Stay tuned for additional updates from ACTION in the coming weeks as we closely monitor the state of play in Congress!

ACTION Membership

The ACTION Campaign is pleased to welcome our newest members, who joined this January:

  • EAH Housing, California
  • Redist, New York
  • PA Home Matters, Pennsylvania
  • Quanta Urban Developers, LLC, Puerto Rico
  • Broadway Homes, LLC, Texas

Help ACTION continue to grow our membership and advocacy strength by encouraging your networks to support affordable housing and the the Housing Credit by joining the coalitionAs a reminder, membership is free. Together, we can demonstrate to Members of Congress the widespread support for the Housing Credit across the country.

You can also help strengthen our reach by following the ACTION Campaign’s LinkedIn page and inviting your connections follow and join us!

Housing Credit Research

  • The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies released “America’s Rental Housing 2022” report, which details the heightened rental housing demand in the second year of the pandemic as well as how lower-income households are still struggling to make rent. The report also details how protecting existing rental housing from the threat of climate change is key to addressing the affordable housing crisis.
  • A recent Harvard Study reports on the disparities between older households of color and older white households on their ability to afford housing. The study reports that older households of color were more likely to fall late on paying rent than their white counterparts and analyzes the effect of the pandemic on these older ethnic minority headed households. 
  • A January White Paper published by Enterprise Community Partners examines the decrease in the housing supply caused by the increase in housing prices in the 2010s. During that time, the housing supply increased by a mere 6.9 percent, resulting in price increases. In addition, there were also dramatic reductions of homes in both metro and non-metro areas. The non-metro areas experienced the most substantial losses, with 66 percent of counties losing large parts of their housing supply. The paper includes strategies and recommended changes in construction and zoning patterns to deal with these losses.
  • In “Zoned Out: What Options do Renters Have to Access High Opportunity Areas?,” Freddie Mac examines zoning rules and access to affordable housing in areas of high opportunity. According to the study, housing opportunities for low-income renters in high-opportunity areas – where there is access to resources like quality education, transportation, health care, and jobs – are limited and building new multifamily housing in these locations is often challenging. The study finds that though rental housing is available in high-opportunity areas in various forms, concentrations of rental housing vary by local market and is largely unaffordable to renters making 60 percent of area median income or less.   
  • A recent analysis from Novogradac examines a Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) final rule for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, released in December of 2021, which determines both their 2022 multifamily housing goals and 2022-2024 single-family housing goals. These new goals will help to mitigate the affordable housing crisis across the country, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
  • A new Novogradac analysis examines the impact of inflation on Housing Credit income limits, specifically examining how the change in the Consumer Price Index – or the average change over time in the prices paid by consumers for certain goods and services – affects this.

Housing Credit News Highlights

  • A January 24 Notes from Novogradac article, “IRS Notice 2022-05 Provides a Six Month Extension to Lease LIHTC Units,” examines the extended provisions in Notice 2022-05, which include “an extension of time for LIHTC developments to complete lease up after the close of the first year of the credit period.”
  • A January 14 Affordable Housing Finance article, “Advocates Continue to Push for Affordable Housing Priorities,” explores possible options to move forward the affordable housing provisions in BBB.
  • A January 21 article in Affordable Housing Finance predicts capital market expectations in the new year for affordable housing, and notes that with or without the passage of BBB, affordable housing looks to be in a strong position.
  • A January 5 article from MLIVE announces $1.19 million of Housing Credits to support the construction of 53 affordable housing units in Jackson, Michigan.
  • A January 5 article from The News&Observer discusses the lack of affordable housing units available to North Carolina residents and how this urgent dilemma particularly impacts low-income residents.

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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