The LIHTC Financing Enabling Long-Term Investment in Neighborhood Excellence Act (LIFELINE Act; S. 4181/H.R. 7078) has gained significant cosponsorship in the past few months. Representatives Melanie Ann Stansbury (D-PA), Al Lawson (D-FL), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Deborah Ross (D-NC) cosponsored the House version of the LIFELINE Act, bringing support to 13 Representatives — 10 Democrats and three Republicans. Cosponsorship of the Senate LIFELINE Act, introduced earlier this month, stands at 11 original cosponsors — eight Democrats, two Independents, and one Republican. There are currently no Texas Senators or Representatives that have signed on as cosponsors. On April 12, TAAHP signed on to the letter sent to Congress by NCHSA and signed by 82 organizations stating our support for the LIFELINE ACT. TAAHP will continue reaching out to our delegation members to urge them to cosponsor the LIFELINE Act.

LIFELINE ACT Summary: This bill would amend the underlying statute of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) to facilitate its use with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) program so that states and local governments may use these funds to build and preserve desperately needed affordable rental housing. In January 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a final rule about the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF), created by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Per that rule, SLFRF dollars must be obligated by December 31, 2024 and expended by December 31, 2026. Because funds must be expended by 2026, states cannot continue to make LIHTC payments for the duration of previously-negotiated contracts; nor can these funds be given immediately as grants without reducing the cost basis for developers and disincentivizing construction. The hope had been that Congress would include such language in the FY 2022 appropriation omnibus that passed last month. While the final F.Y. 2022 spending legislation did not include that provision, NCSHA and partner organizations such as TAAHP continue to pursue the fix. The bill proposes a legislative fix to allow SLFRF to be used to provide long-term loans to Housing Credit developments. In addition, the legislation aims to ease gaps in financing due to rising construction costs, price increases, supply chain issues, and workforce difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic.