March Monthly Newsletter: Legislative State of Play, Honoring Black History Month, & Other Housing Credit News

The ACTION Campaign monthly call will be held on Friday, March 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

As ACTION members are aware,  the Build Back Better Act (BBB) – and the Housing Credit provisions it contains – remain up in the air after stalling in the Senate in December. At present, Congressional focus is centered on final negotiations for a Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 omnibus appropriations bill before the Continuing Resolution it is currently operating under expires on March 11. Congress appears on track to reach an agreement before the deadline, though work remains to nail down the final numbers for individual program appropriations levels. Once Congress passes this hurdle, other pressing legislative considerations on the docket – including Supreme Court nominations and the yet-unknown impacts rising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – may further push back the restart of BBB negotiations in the Senate.

On the more distant horizon are the end of the 2022 fiscal year on September 30 and the November mid-term election. As we have noted in previous reports, BBB has been moving through Congress under reconciliation instructions from the FY 2022 Budget Resolution. The power of those instructions lasts only through the end of FY 2022. Moreover, members of Congress are already working on their reelection campaigns and will do so in greater earnest by mid-summer.

While ACTION will continue to press Congress to advance our Housing Credit priorities through BBB – or whatever BBB may morph into – we are also looking at all opportunities, including the potential for bipartisan legislation in the “lame duck” period after the election and before the start of the next Congress. 

Also, as you know, the 12.5 percent expansion of the Housing Credit enacted in 2018 expired at the end of 2021. ACTION is staying in close contact with key congressional decision makers on the issue and will work to advance a fix should BBB not continue as a legislative vehicle for tax priorities. This includes pushing for the permanent extension of the 12.5 percent allocation increase in any tax extender legislation that may arise in the coming months. In addition, ACTION and our Housing Credit congressional champions are continuing our work to build support for the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act by securing additional bipartisan cosponsorship in both the House and the Senate.

As always, ACTION will continue to stay in close communication with our Housing Credit champions on the Hill, monitoring any possible legislative vehicles for our critical priorities to ride on, keeping our members and supporters up to date on strategic advocacy opportunities as necessary.

ACTION Honors Black History Month

Each February, the nation honors Black History Month and the many contributions of Black Americans throughout history. During this important time, there is much we as housing advocates should consider – both victories to celebrate, but also enduring problems to address – including our nation’s history of redlining and the challenges that remain to improve access to affordable, stable, and decent housing for all, including for Black Americans.

Check out the new blogpost from ACTION on the damaging history of redlining for people of color, and the Housing Credit’s positive impact on securing housing stability and advancing economic mobility for low-income Americans across the country.

ACTION Membership Update

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

  • TGI Justice Project, California
  • Shannon Ellis & Associates Realty, LLC, Georgia
  • Chicago Community Loan Fund, Illinois
  • Westbrook Development Corporation, Maine
  • Alliance of Cambridge Tenants (ACT), Massachusetts
  • Neighborhood Assistance Office, New Jersey
  • Pottstown Housing Coalition, Pennsylvania
  • Phillips Group Management, LLC, Texas
  • Streamline Advisory Partners, Texas

Help ACTION continue to grow our membership and advocacy strength by encouraging your networks to support affordable housing and the Housing Credit by joining the coalition. 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

  • A recent publication from NLIHC details a number of existing research reports related to the Housing Credit and other affordable housing programs, as well as information on what happens to tenants in Housing Credit properties when affordability restrictions end.  
  • A Novogradac analysis examines the increase in housing costs resulting from the current high level of inflation. Novogradac recommends expanding the Housing Credit and creating a Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit to finance approximately one million affordable homes to combat the issue.  
  • A Novogradac analysis of a 30 percent Housing Credit rural basis boost proposal estimates 73,000 affordable rental homes could be financed between 2022-2031 in rural communities, helping to address how low median incomes in rural communities make it very difficult to develop housing without significant subsidies.

Housing Credit News Highlights

  • A February 18 Reuters article discusses IRS Notice 2022-05, the operating guidelines that address a Housing Credit project owners’ ability to maintain program compliance given the impact of Covid-19.
  • A February 19 article in the Stamford Advocate details the lack of affordable housing for low-income families in the state of Connecticut due to construction barriers resulting from restrictive municipal zoning laws, citing the Housing Credit as a solution to address the states’ affordable housing supply needs.
  • A February 7 article from the Victoria Advocate reports on the state of Rhode Island’s plan to preserve affordable housing developments using the Housing Credit to renovate and modernize the existing housing stock. 
  • A February 10 article from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlines the Housing Investments included in the Build Back Better legislation that will address the nations unmet housing needs.  

A February 11 Yahoo Finance article announces the construction of Africatown Community land Trusts and Community Roots Housing’s Plaza development which will provide affordable housing to the African American community in Seattle’s Central District. 

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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