Senator Maria Cantwell and 12 Others Introduce the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017

CARH’s BROADCAST EMAIL – Legislative Update

March 8, 2017

On March 7th, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), along with 12 other cosponsors, introduced legislation entitled the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017. The bill includes a provision to increase the annual allocation for low-income housing tax credits by 50 percent, establish a minimum 4 percent credit rate, allow income-averaging, modify student occupancy rules, allow states to grant a 30 percent basis boost if it’s necessary to make a project financially feasible, rename the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to the Affordable Housing Tax Credit, and more. A section-by-section summary of the bill can be found here.

The other original cosponsors of the bill are: Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; Ron Wyden (D-OR) Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee; Charles Schumer (D-NY) Senate Minority Leader; Cory Booker (D-NJ); Dean Heller (R-NV); Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Jeff Merkley (D-OR); Lisa Murkowski (R-AK); Brian Schatz (D-HI); Todd Young (R-IN); Susan Collins (R-ME); and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

The legislation is similar to a bill introduced by Senators Cantwell and Hatch in the 114th Congress. A list of changes from the bill introduced yesterday and the legislation introduced in the previous Congress can be found here.

Similar, but not identical, legislation is expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Richard Neal (D-MA). Both are senior members of the Ways and Means Committee and have been long-time supporters of the Housing Credit program.

CARH members are encouraged to contact your Senators and ask them to cosponsor the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017. As soon as legislation is introduced in the House, CARH members will receive a broadcast email asking you to contact your Representatives to cosponsor the House bill.

Senator Cantwell introduced the legislation two days after releasing a report entitled, “Meeting the Challenges of the Growing Affordable Housing Crisis – Expanding and Improving the Housing Tax Credit” which highlights the dramatic impacts on skyrocketing rents nationwide and the critical need for investment in affordable rental housing.

CARH’s board of directors will be holding its spring board meeting in Washington on March 23-24, 2017.  The Housing Credit and Housing Bond programs will be some of the issues that the board will discuss in their various meetings on Capitol Hill.

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