Senators Maria Cantwell and Orrin Hatch Introduce the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016

CARH’s BROADCAST EMAIL – Legislative Update

May 19, 2016

On May 19th, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced legislation entitled, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016. Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) joined as original co-sponsors of this critical legislation. (At the time of the writing of this email, a bill number has not yet been assigned to the legislation.  CARH will update members when a bill number is available.)  Click here to read Senator Cantwell’s press release on this legislation.

The ACTION Campaign, which CARH is a part of the steering committee, released a statement on the introduction of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act.

As information the ACTION Campaign shared with its colleagues, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act will make significant strides towards addressing our nation’s severe shortage of affordable housing by expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), while making the program more streamlined and flexible. This bill would:

  • Expand Housing Credit allocation authority by 50 percent, phased in by ten percent per year for the next five years. This expansion is expected to finance the development or preservation of up to 400,000 affordable homes over the next decade. Despite the growing need for affordable housing, Congress has not increased Housing Credit authority in 16 years, and viable and sorely needed Housing Credit developments are turned down each year because Housing Credit resources fall far short of the demand.
  • Provide a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate for the acquisition of affordable housing and for multifamily Housing Bond-financed developments. Similar to the minimum 9 percent Housing Credit rate that was made permanent at the end of 2015, this change would streamline program administration, increase predictability, and empower states to allocate more Housing Credit equity to properties as needed for financial feasibility.
  • Permit income averaging in Housing Credit properties. This provision would preserve rigorous targeting while providing more flexibility and responsiveness to local needs.

CARH members are encouraged to contact your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016.  This will be a topic of discussion during CARH’s Annual Meeting and Legislative Conference in June.  Efforts will continue to have similar legislation introduced in the House.

Please contact the CARH national office at or 703-837-9001 should you have questions.


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