ncsha news update

The National Council of State Housing Agencies Commends Senators Cantwell and Hatch for Introducing The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), on behalf of its state Housing Finance Agency (HFA) members, commends Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for introducing today the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016 to expand and strengthen the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit).  We also applaud Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) for joining Cantwell and Hatch as original cosponsors.  The legislation increases Housing Credit authority by 50 percent over five years beginning in 2017 and provides states additional flexibility in their program administration.

“This legislation will greatly extend the reach of this enormously successful program, helping states and our partners to make much more headway in our efforts to provide affordable rental housing to those who so urgently need it all across the country,” said Thomas Gleason, executive director of MassHousing and president of NCSHA. “We are deeply grateful to Senators Cantwell and Hatch for their leadership and to their fellow Finance Committee members for their support,” added Gleason.

In addition to the cap increase, the legislation includes several other NCSHA legislative priorities.  Specifically, it sets a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate for both acquisition Credits and for Housing Bond-financed Credit properties, allowing states to provide more Credit equity to these developments if necessary to achieve their financial feasibility.  It also provides an income-averaging option under which the Housing Credit could finance units for households earning up to 80 percent of area median income (AMI), so long as the average income limit within the property is 60 percent of AMI or less.  This would expand the market for Housing Credit units and enable the Housing Credit to reach even lower income families by allowing developers to offset lower rents paid by very low- and extremely low-income households with higher rents paid by eligible households earning more.

“The Housing Credit is the most important and effective rental housing production tool states have, but the authority available to it is not nearly enough to respond to rapidly escalating affordable rental housing need and increasing demands on the program,” said Barbara Thompson, executive director of NCSHA.

The Housing Credit is essential to addressing our nation’s housing affordability crisis.  It is the principal source of financing for the development and preservation of rental housing affordable to low-income people, creating opportunities for families and individuals who otherwise pay an excessive portion of their income for housing, live in substandard and overcrowded conditions, or face homelessness.  By providing an incentive for private sector investment, the Housing Credit has financed nearly 3 million apartments since Congress created it 30 years ago.

For more information about NCSHA and our legislative priorities visit www.ncsha.org.

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State Housing Finance Agencies—known as HFAs—share a public purpose mission to provide affordable housing help to the people of their jurisdictions who need it.  HFAs administer the Housing Credit in nearly every state. 

The National Council of State Housing Agencies—known as NCSHA—is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan association that advocates on behalf of HFAs before Congress and the Administration for affordable housing resources.  It represents the HFAs of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 


Senators Cantwell and Hatch Introduce Housing Credit Cap Increase Legislation

On May 19, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced S. 2962, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016, which would enact several of NCSHA’s Housing Credit-related legislative priorities. The bill would address the severe shortage of affordable rental housing by increasing Housing Credit authority by 50 percent over five years beginning in 2017 and providing states additional flexibility in their program administration. The legislation also increases the small state minimum by 50 percent, also over five years. Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) joined Senators Cantwell and Hatch as original cosponsors.

In addition to the cap increase, the legislation would set a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate for both acquisition Credits and for Housing Bond-financed Credit properties, allowing states to provide more Credit equity to these developments if necessary to achieve their financial feasibility. It would also provide an income-averaging option under which the Housing Credit could finance units for households earning up to 80 percent of area median income (AMI), so long as the average income limit within the property is 60 percent of AMI or less. This would expand the market for Housing Credit units and enable the Housing Credit to reach even lower income families by allowing developers to offset lower rents paid by very low- and extremely low-income households with higher rents paid by eligible households earning more.

NCSHA and other members of the ACTION Campaign, the national Housing Credit Coalition which NCSHA co-chairs, have been working with Senator Cantwell’s office for several months to develop the legislation. Senator Cantwell intends to introduce soon a second Housing Credit bill that will make additional improvements to the Credit program, many of which NCSHA and the Campaign have proposed. Her staff is working on the details of that legislation.

Now that the bill has been introduced, please contact your senators and encourage them to become cosponsors. NCSHA will be working with Senator Cantwell’s office to develop a section-by-section description of the bill and will be creating other materials to help you make your case. As soon as those documents are available we will post them on NCSHA’s website.

Contact NCSHA’s Jennifer Schwartz for more information.


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Cantwell, Hatch Introduce Bill to Expand Production of Affordable Housing
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), along with Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) today introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. The bill would expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) by 50% to help spur the production of much-needed affordable housing.

The legislation would help create or preserve approximately 1.3 million affordable homes over a 10-year period – an increase of 400,000 more units than is possible under the current program, Cantwell said in a press release.

In addition to the 50% allocation increase, which would be phased in over a five-year period, the bill also enacts a permanent 4% credit rate floor for acquisition and bond-financed projects, which would provide more certainty and flexibility in financing these properties. The 4% fixed rate provision follows the successfuly enacted minimum 9% credit floor in December.

The legislation also would permit a new income averaging option to allow tenants earning up to 80% of the area median income, while providing a deeper level of affordability for other tenants, so that the average median income of the entire project does not exceed 60%.
“Affordable housing is a crisis all across America,” said Cantwell. “With skyrocketing rents and an increase in homelessness, more affordable housing units are a necessity. That is why today, Senator Hatch and I are introducing legislation to expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. By building more affordable housing units across the United States, more people can have a shot at the American dream.”

Earlier this year, Cantwell, along with the ACTION Campaign – a coalition of 1,300 affordable housing organizations across the country of which NAHB is a member – began a national campaign to increase federal resources for affordable housing and build support for expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

 

NAHB is pleased to see the strong bipartisan support for expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.  While it is unlikely this legislation will see action this year, it sets a very positive note for the future of the LIHTC as Congress prepares to tackle tax reform in 2017.


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We are very excited that Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have introduced legislation providing for a 50% increase in the LIHTC cap.  The legislation will also set a minimum credit rate of 4% for acquisition and bond-financed projects as well as create a new income-averaging option.  More information is forthcoming but we wanted to get this out to you asap to help build support for the proposal.  Click here to read the press release issued by Sen. Cantwell and Chairman Hatch earlier today.  We will be discussing this at our upcoming Housing Advisory Group Congressional Forum in Washington, DC on June 8th.

 


Founded in 1997, the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP) is a non-profit trade association serving as the primary advocate and leading resource for the affordable housing industry in Texas. Our vision is to inspire and engage our members and stakeholders to end the affordable housing crisis in Texas.

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221 E. 9th Street, Suite 408
Austin, TX 78701

TAAHP

TAAHP

Phone: 512-476-9901 | Email: info@taahp.org

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