The ACTION Campaign was established in 2009 by a broad cross-section of Housing Credit stakeholder organizations in reaction to the recession and financial crisis that rapidly and drastically affected Housing Credit investment. When the market started to rebound in 2010, the ACTION Campaign shifted focus to protecting the Housing Credit in tax reform and advancing measures to further strengthen the program.
Since its establishment, the ACTION Campaign has become an effective advocacy coalition, bringing the Housing Credit community and industry together to speak with one voice. ACTION’s most noteworthy achievements include:
- In December 2020, Congress passed and the President signed H.R. 133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, a $1.4 trillion omnibus appropriations and $900 billion Covid-19 relief package. The package includes a tax title with one of ACTION’s top Housing Credit priorities, a permanent, minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate. The 4 percent minimum rate has long been an ACTION priority. Its passage allows for the production of more critically needed affordable housing developments, provides more predictability for developers and investors, and creates parity with the 9 percent Housing Credit rate, for which Congress enacted a minimum rate in response to the 2008 Great Recession. The Act also includes additional Housing Credit disaster authority for states and territories that qualified for certain FEMA assistance as a result of major natural disasters occurring in 2020.
- In 2018, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 providing FY 2018 funding to federal programs. While primarily a funding bill, the legislation included a very small tax title providing a temporary 12.5 percent increase in Housing Credit authority for four years and establishing a long-sought priority of the ACTION Campaign—the Housing Credit Average Income Test. The increase in authority was the first increase to the program in over ten years.
- Congress began a concerted effort to reform the tax code in 2014, which ultimately lead to the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Throughout this period, the future of the Housing Credit and its sister program, multifamily Housing Bonds, was unknown. ACTION consistently worked to educate members of Congress so that they would understand why Congress should retain them in any reformed taxation system. Prior to considering tax reform, Congress and the Administration released a Unified Framework that outlined their priorities for tax reform. Because of ACTION’s advocacy, the Housing Credit was included as one of only two tax credits the Republican-controlled House and Senate and the Trump Administration vowed to retain after tax reform. When the tax reform bill passed by the House would have eliminated the tax-exemption for private activity bonds, including multifamily housing bonds, ACTION worked with the Senate to prevent this outcome. In the end, Congress and the Administration retained both programs.
- In 2008, Congress established a temporary minimum 9 percent Housing Credit rate. ACTION successfully advocated for the extension of the minimum 9 percent Housing Credit rate and was able to achieve a permanent minimum 9 percent Housing Credit rate in the 2015 Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act.