Today, the ACTION Campaign sent a letter signed by over 2,500 businesses, nonprofits, and public agencies to Congress, urging them to include crucial Housing Credit provisions in any end-of-year legislation. The Housing Credit is our nation’s most effective affordable housing financing tool and is a model public-private partnership program that has earned strong bipartisan, bicameral support since its inception in 1986. The letter underscores that expanding production through the Housing Credit is essential to tackle the shortage of affordable rental housing and address inflationary impacts, especially for low-income individuals and working families across the country.
In the letter, federal leaders are urged to include two key Housing Credit provisions in tax extenders, understanding that the scope of the legislative package may be limited and not feasible to enact the AHCIA. Those actions include: (1) Expand Housing Credit authority by 50 percent, and at a bare minimum reinstate the 12.5 percent cut the Credit suffered this year; and (2) Enhance the use of existing Private Activity Bond authority for rental housing production by lowering the bond financing threshold from 50 percent to 25 percent. Together, these two actions to increase resources for the Housing Credit would finance an additional 1.93 million affordable rental homes over the next 10 years, according to projections calculated by Novogradac & Company LLP.
“High inflation, a supply chain shortage and the continued economic impacts of the pandemic have driven rents up in every community and every Congressional district,” said Scott Hoekman, ACTION Campaign co-chair and president of housing credit investments at Enterprise Community Partners. “The Housing Credit has earned its broad, bipartisan support through the successful creation and preservation of 3.6 million homes, serving over 8 million households in the last three decades. We cannot go backward, which is why it’s so critical our federal leaders not let the 117th Congress end without providing the resources necessary to build more affordable rental housing.”
“The most important thing we can do to combat the supply-demand imbalance causing rents to skyrocket is to build and preserve more affordable housing with the Housing Credit,” said Jennifer Schwartz, ACTION Campaign co-chair and director of tax and housing advocacy with the National Council of State Housing Agencies. “Our nation has underbuilt for too long and low-income families and seniors are paying that price. Congress cannot further delay investment in housing supply; expanding the Housing Credit is the most effective way to get that done.”
ACTION encourages affordable housing supporters to share the letter with their U.S. Senators and Representatives, asking them to make these Housing Credit provisions a priority in any year-end tax package