May 11, 2023
Affordable housing champions in Congress introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) of 2023 today to strengthen and expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). The bipartisan legislation is sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Todd Young (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL-16), Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02), Don Beyer (D-VA-08), Claudia Tenney (R-NY-24), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-19). The House version was introduced with over 60 bipartisan original cosponsors, in addition to the leads.
ACTION Campaign provided the following statement for the AHCIA congressional leads’ press release:
“Housing has become a top issue across the country, with communities of all sizes and types experiencing significant shortages. The Housing Credit is the number one federal tool for building and preserving rental homes that are within reach for families and individuals struggling to make ends meet. We commend this bipartisan, bicameral group of congressional leaders on the introduction of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, which would both expand and strengthen the Housing Credit. Since its inception in 1986, the Housing Credit has created 3.7 million homes for over 8 million households, but more resources are needed. Congress should move swiftly to enact this critical legislation to address our affordable housing crisis and build strong, vibrant, and equitable communities where everyone has a stable and secure place to call home.”
Both bills include the same key financing provisions from the previous version: a 50 percent increase in Housing Credit allocations, phased in evenly over two years; lowering the Private Activity Bond financing threshold (the so-called “50 percent test”) down to 25 percent; and basis boosts for rural developments, Tribal communities, and extremely low-income tenants (people earning 30 percent or less than the area median income), as well as a state discretionary boost to make certain projects financially feasible. These provisions would finance an estimated 1.94 million new affordable homes over the next decade.
Read the full press release from the House and Senate AHCIA sponsors.
The AHCIA also includes a number of other important provisions that would help preserve existing affordable housing and improve program implementation, including improving access for veterans, students, and victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.
While the bills are largely the same as in the last Congress, there are a few minor, mostly technical changes to the AHCIA of 2023. These include adding a “Sense of Congress” language on data and transparency, which notes the bills authors’ intent to address this area in advance of enactment and an adjustment to one provision to reflect passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which enacted aspects of one section of the bill. In addition, the Senate version of the bill includes a “Sense of the Senate” related to land use and zoning, which is not in the House legislation. You can read more about this in the bill differences document.
For more information on the bill, please see the following resources:
Visit www.rentalhousingaction.org for more information about our efforts to expand, strengthen, and protect the Housing Credit.
BECOME AN ACTION CAMPAIGN MEMBER
To demonstrate the widespread support for the AHCIA and the Housing Credit program to members of Congress, the ACTION Campaign is working hard to grow and expand our grassroots coalition.
As a reminder, ACTION Campaign membership is free. Through our newsletters and field alerts, we update our members with the latest developments on advancing legislation that would strengthen and expand the Housing Credit. ACTION members also gain access to custom advocacy support materials, such as state- or district-specific talking points, fact sheets, and more, to support outreach to members of Congress.
The power of the ACTION Campaign is our numbers. More than 2,400 national, state, and local organizations and businesses have already signed-on to address the country’s severe shortage of affordable rental housing by protecting, expanding, and strengthening the Housing Credit.
If you are not yet a member of our coalition, sign on here. If you are already a member, please help us continue to grow by sharing the news of our membership drive with your networks. Thank you for your support!