National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) President Grant S. Whitaker testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance during an August 1 hearing on "America’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions." Whitaker addressed the nation’s critical need for affordable housing and the roles the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and tax-exempt private activity Housing Bonds (Housing Bonds) play in responding to that need.
During his testimony, Whitaker, who is president and chief executive officer of the Utah Housing Corporation, urged the Committee to seize the opportunity of tax reform to strengthen the Housing Credit and Bonds, extend their reach to hard-to-serve populations and places, and streamline and modernize their program rules.
To achieve this, Whitaker urged the Committee to pass legislation introduced earlier this year by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), saying, "Senator Cantwell and Chairman Hatch’s Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, S. 548, is essential to addressing the crisis. The lynchpin provision of this legislation would expand the Housing Credit authority each state receives by 50 percent over five years. This cap increase would allow states to make meaningful progress towards meeting the housing needs of their low-income residents."
Whitaker cautioned the Committee to consider the potential impact of tax code changes on the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds to prevent any unintended negative effects.
A transcript of Whitaker’s testimony and the video of the hearing can be accessed at www.finance.senate.gov/hearings/americas-affordable-housing-crisis-challenges-and-solutions.