Today, a letter signed by 184 local government leaders representing cities, counties and other municipalities of all sizes across the country was sent to Congressional leadership in support of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) of 2023 (S. 1557 / H.R. 3238). The letter, led by the ACTION Campaign, in partnership with the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, and Mayors & CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment, shows the broad local support for expanding and strengthening the Housing Credit — our nation’s most important tool for encouraging private investment in the production and preservation of affordable rental housing. Local leaders support this legislation because they understand how important affordable housing is in their communities to enhance economic competitiveness and help families, seniors, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable households.
The AHCIA of 2023 was introduced in May 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 bicameral legislation has quickly garnered broad bipartisan support. Currently, the AHCIA has 170 cosponsors in the House and 28 cosponsors in the Senate, including leads.
The production provisions of the legislation are estimated to finance nearly 2 million additional affordable rental homes over ten years. These proposals include a 50 percent increase in Housing Credit authority, phased in over two years, as well as reinstating the 12.5 percent increase that expired in 2021; lowering the 50 percent threshold for Housing Credit developments financed with tax-exempt bonds to 25 percent; and granting state agencies additional flexibility in applying “basis boosts” for rural areas, Tribal areas, and properties designated to serve extremely low-income tenants. The bill also contains about two dozen other regulatory and administrative improvements to the program, enumerated in the detailed bill summary.
“There is a growing call for Congress to take action on the shortage of decent, affordable housing, the impact of which is felt in every state and in communities of all sizes. This letter demonstrates the widespread support on the ground for Congress to enact the AHCIA, expanding the Housing Credit, our nation’s number one tool for creating and preserving affordable rental homes,” said Jennifer Schwartz, ACTION co-chair and Director of Tax and Housing Advocacy at the National Council of State Housing Agencies, and Ayrianne Parks, Senior Director of Public Policy at Enterprise Community Partners.
“Affordable housing investments in cities, towns, and villages are proven to grow economies, create jobs, and revitalize neighborhoods,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities. “NLC has endorsed the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act because it will help local governments and developers overcome the substantial financial obstacles to constructing healthy, safe, and quality affordable housing that we’re seeing today. NLC extends our thanks to co-sponsors of the bill for working to advance this critical legislation through the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support.”
“On behalf of 46 bipartisan mayors and business leaders representing more than 22 million residents and millions more households, we strongly support the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2023,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Our coalition was intentionally created as a bipartisan forum for cities and the federal government to work together on unlocking housing financing and construction opportunities – and AHCIA exemplifies this kind of critical federal, state and local collaboration.”
“Counties are on the front lines of responding to the housing crisis, forging community and intergovernmental partnerships and investing in practical solutions,” said Matthew Chase, executive director of the National Association of Counties. “The bipartisan Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would provide much-needed reforms to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and promote housing affordability. We thank the bill’s cosponsors for their leadership, and we look forward to working with our bipartisan congressional partners to secure passage of this legislation.”
The ACTION Campaign is a coalition of over 2,400 national, state, and local organizations and businesses. We work to address our nation’s severe shortage of affordable rental housing by protecting, expanding, and strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. For more information on the AHCIA, including national, state, and district fact sheets, please visit our Advocacy Toolkit on ACTION’s website.