Yesterday Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) and Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA-1) introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 1661), a bipartisan, comprehensive bill to strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). The bill is companion legislation to S. 548, which Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced earlier this month.
The House bill would provide increased flexibility, simplify program requirements, make the financing of affordable housing more predictable and streamlined, support the preservation of existing affordable housing, and facilitate Housing Credit development in challenging markets, like rural and Native American communities, and for hard-to-reach populations, including those with extremely low incomes. The legislation also contains important provisions that would support development of rental homes using the Housing Credit coupled with multifamily Housing Bonds, which currently provide critical financing to roughly 40 percent of Housing Credit apartments.
The primary difference between the House and Senate bills is that the House bill does not include the 50 percent phased-in Housing Credit cap increase that is part of the Senate bill. However, it takes significant steps to strengthen the Housing Credit, and ACTION fully endorses this critical legislation. ACTION will continue to encourage the inclusion of a cap increase in any final tax legislation that advances through Congress.
In addition to Representatives Tiberi and Neal, there are 16 other original co-sponsors, 13 of which are Ways and Means Committee members: Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26), John Faso (R-NY-19), John Katko (R-NY-24), Mike Kelly (R-PA-3), Patrick Meehan (R-PA-7), Erik Paulsen (R-MN-3), David Reichert (R-WA-8), James Renacci (R-OH-16), Jason Smith (R-MO-8), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Joseph Crowley (D-NY-14), Danny Davis (D-IL-7), Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-9), Linda Sanchez (D-CA-38), and Mike Thompson (D-CA-5).
Thanks to Representatives Tiberi and Neal and the other original co-sponsors for their leadership and support of the Housing Credit. With tax reform likely to move forward in 2017, this strong bipartisan expression of support for the Housing Credit is extremely significant. ACTION looks forward to continuing to work with the House, Senate and Administration to protect, strengthen and expand the Housing Credit in tax reform, and urges the inclusion of the Tiberi-Neal provisions in the House’s forthcoming tax reform legislation.
“The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is a vital and effective tool to address the affordable housing crisis in America,” Representative Tiberi said in a statement. “Since 1987, Ohio has used the LIHTC Program to facilitate the development of over 100,000 affordable rental housing units. It is a great example of how the private sector can work with government to help families, individuals and seniors find a safe and decent place to live and call home. I look forward to working with Congressman Neal and the rest of the Ways and Means Committee as we reform our tax code to ensure that this incentive to provide affordable housing remains strong.”
“The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is a powerful tool for leveraging private investment for affordable housing," said Representative Neal. "I’m pleased to once again be teaming with my colleague, Pat Tiberi, to further strengthen the Housing Credit program – and I call on my colleagues to support these commonsense reforms."
We encourage all Coalition members to ask your Representative to co-sponsor this legislation.
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Visit the ACTION Campaign website for more advocacy tools and information about efforts to protect, strengthen and expand the Housing Credit.