Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers in Both the Senate and the House of Representatives Introduce the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019

Legislative Update

On June 4th, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), along with three other cosponsors, introduced legislation entitled the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 (S. 1703) in the Senate.  Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1), along with three other cosponsors, introduced an identical companion bill in the House of Representatives (H.R. 3077).

The legislation would:  rename the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to the Affordable Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit);  include a provision to increase the annual allocation for Housing Credits by 50 percent; establish a permanent minimum 4 percent credit rate; provide flexibility for existing tenants’ income eligibility; modify student occupancy rules; repeal the Qualified Census Tract (QCT) population cap; and allow states to grant a 30 percent basis boost if it is necessary to make a project financially feasible. The bills also would provide a basis boost to rural areas if needed for financial feasibility and would allow rural properties financed with Housing Bonds to base income limits on the greater of area median income or national non-metro median income. While the bill as introduced has many great features, it does limit tenant based Housing Choice voucher payments in certain Housing Credit developments, which may create a negative impact for certain housing providers. 

The ACTION Campaign (ACTION), which CARH is a member of, is a coalition of over 2,200 national, state, and local organizations, and businesses working to address our nation’s severe shortage of affordable rental housing by protecting, expanding and strengthening the Housing Credit. ACTION has created a section-by-section summary of the bill that can be found here.

The other original cosponsors of S. 1703 are Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). The other original cosponsors of H.R. 3077 are Representatives Donald Beyer, Jr. (D-VA-8), Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24), and Jackie Walorski (R-IN-2).

The legislation is similar to bills introduced in the 115th Congress. A list of changes from the bills introduced yesterday and the legislation introduced in the previous Congress was prepared by ACTION and can be found here.

CARH members are encouraged to contact your Senators and to contact your Representatives and ask them to cosponsor the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019.   

Senator Cantwell introduced the legislation during a speech on the Senate floor in which she reiterated the need for affordable housing and the importance of the provisions in the bills. A copy of her press release regarding the legislation can be found here.

This legislation, as well as many other issues will be discussed in detail at CARH’s upcoming Annual Meeting & Legislative Conference.

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