Join us for a call this Thursday, May 26, at 2 p.m. EDT, where we will discuss the new Cantwell-Hatch Housing Credit expansion legislation. Please note that this month’s call will be on Thursday instead of Friday to accommodate those leaving the office early for the Memorial Day holiday.
Thursday, May 26 @ 2:00 p.m. EDT
Participant code: 677-49-533#
Cantwell-Hatch Housing Credit Expansion Legislation
On May 19, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016 (S. 2962). Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) also joined as original co-sponsors. See our statement on the introduction of this legislation.
The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would make significant strides towards addressing our nation’s severe shortage of affordable housing by expanding the Housing Credit, while also making the program more streamlined and flexible. This bill would: expand Housing Credit allocation authority by 50 percent phased in over five years beginning in 2017; increase the small state minimum allocation by 50 percent, also phased in over five years; provide a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate for the acquisition of affordable housing and for multifamily Housing Bond-financed developments; and permit income averaging in Housing Credit properties. See our bill summary for more information.
We encourage ACTION Campaign members to reach out to your Senators and encourage them to co-sponsor the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016. To help make the case for an expansion of the Housing Credit, see our talking points on the need and demand for the Housing Credit and use our state fact sheets showing the impact of the Housing Credit in every state, as well as the affordable housing needs that still remain.
Senator Cantwell is also continuing to collect stories of people who have experienced homelessness or have struggled to afford housing to strengthen the case for her new legislation.
Op-Eds Calling for Housing Credit Expansion
Former HUD Secretaries Henry Cisneros and Mel Martinez have called for an expansion of the Housing Credit to address the growing shortage of housing for our nation’s seniors in an op-ed in Housing Wire, “America’s elderly desperately need more affordable housing.” Cisneros and Martinez describe the Housing Credit as “one of the most effective tools in our toolkit” and “indispensable” to encouraging more private investment in affordable housing. Chairwoman of the San Antonio Housing Commission Jennifer Gonzalez also called for increasing Housing Credit allocation authority in an op-ed in the San Antonio Express-News, "Make affordable housing a priority,” citing the Housing Credit’s impact in Texas – financing over 266,000 affordable homes in the state over the past three decades.
House Tax Reform Hearings
The House Ways and Means Committee is engaged in a series of hearings on tax reform. In a June 12 Member Day Hearing on Tax Legislation, close to four dozen members provided testimony on a wide range of tax issues. Tax Policy Subcommittee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA-1) highlighted the Housing Credit in his remarks, saying, “We all know the work that [the Housing Credit] can do in our community.”
This Tuesday, the Ways and Means Committee will be holding a hearing on Moving America’s Families Forward: Setting Priorities for Reducing Poverty and Expanding Opportunity. The ACTION Campaign will be submitting comments in response to this hearing on the need to expand the Housing Credit. Comments from interested parties are due on June 7.