Join the ACTION Campaign on Friday, September 29 at 2 p.m. EDT to discuss the latest developments related to tax reform and the Housing Credit.
Friday, September 29 @ 2:00 p.m. EDT
1.888.240.2560, participant code 677-495-333#
Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Surpasses 100 Co-sponsors in the House
The Tiberi-Neal Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 1661) has reached 101co-sponsors (including Rep. Tiberi) – 48 Republicans and 53 Democrats – with 14 additional members signing on in support of the Housing Credit in the past month. The most recent additions are Representatives Edward Royce (R-CA-39), Bruce Poliquin (R-ME-2), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Kevin Yoder (R-KS-3), Ron Estes (R-KS-4), John Garamendi (D-CA-3), Ron Kind (D-WI-3), Paul Cook (R-CA-8), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11), Tim Walberg (R-MI-7), Charles Dent (R-PA-15), Claudia Tenney (R-NY-22), Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1), and Steven Palazzo (R-MS-4).
Thank you to all ACTION members for your work in achieving this tremendous milestone, including the many organizations who met with members over the August and September recesses.
The Cantwell-Hatch version of the bill (S. 548) stands at 20 co-sponsors, including Senator Cantwell.
GOP Tax Reform Proposal Expected this Week
The “Big Six” – a group of top tax policymakers in Congress and the Administration – is planning to release an initial consensus proposal on tax reform this Wednesday. The group is expected to propose a top corporate tax rate of 20 percent, though President Trump continues to indicate that he hopes a lower rate of 15 percent can ultimately be achieved. In order to offset the costs of the lower corporate rate, the group is expected to propose eliminating the state and local tax deduction, but may not provide granular detail regarding the proposed treatment of other tax expenditures like the Housing Credit and Housing Bonds. We will provide more information once the plan is released.
The tax-writing committees also continue to hold hearings on tax reform, with the Senate Finance Committee holding a hearing on business tax reform last week. In his written testimony, Jeffrey D. DeBoer, President and CEO at the Real Estate Roundtable, cited low-income housing as an example of a tax incentive “needed to address market failures and encourage capital to flow to socially desirable projects.” Sen. Cantwell also reiterated the importance of affordable housing during the hearing, saying that housing needs to be part of the reform discussion.
The Senate Finance Committee also held a hearing on individual tax reform this month, during which Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) spoke positively about the Housing Credit, with Sen. Isakson specifically identifying its importance after natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Updated Fact Sheets Show the Impact of the Housing Credit in Every State
The ACTION campaign has released updated fact sheets on the impact of the Housing Credit in each state, including data on the homes created or preserved, jobs supported, and local income and tax revenue generated. The fact sheets also include information on the affordable housing shortages that still remain in each state. Nationwide, the Housing Credit has financed 3 million apartments, providing affordable homes to 7 million low-income families and supporting 3.4 million jobs. However, more than 11 million households still pay more than half of their income towards rent, and the average minimum wage worker has to work 112 hours per week in order to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment, underscoring the need to expand the Housing Credit. The ACTION Campaign’s district fact sheets will be updated with 2015 data in the coming weeks.
New Fact Sheet Shows Benefits of Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act for Seniors
New fact sheets show the impact of the Housing Credit in senior communities, as well as the provisions in the House and Senate versions of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act that would facilitate additional benefits for this population. These fact sheets are the second in a series of resources that highlight the ways in which the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act benefits specific communities and populations. The first fact sheets highlight the provisions in the House and Senate bills that benefit rural communities. Stay tuned for more and visit our Advocacy Toolkit for additional resources.
New Report Finds Strong Housing Credit Operating Performance
CohnReznick has released its sixth survey of Housing Credit properties, which finds that Housing Credit properties are operating better than any period in the program’s history. The report examines how Housing Credit developments are financed, how public-private partnerships foster an efficient use of the capital subsidy, why institutional investors invest in Housing Credits, economic occupancy strength, improvements in debt coverage ratio and overall strong cash flow for Housing Credit properties. The report also details the rising number of low-income renters who need affordable housing. With a 97.8% occupancy rate in 2016 – the highest rate that CohnReznick has seen since it began collecting data – nearly all Housing Credit units are occupied, underscoring the need to expand the Housing Credit to help more of the nation’s 11.2 million severely cost-burdened renter households.
ACTION Groups Highlight the Need to Expand the Housing Credit
Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, Granger MacDonald, responded to an article published in the Wall Street Journal last week calling for the elimination of the Housing Credit. MacDonald refuted the suggestion that zoning and regulatory reform were a sufficient substitute for providing affordable housing, and affirmed the Housing Credit’s impact nationwide in the construction and rehabilitation of over 2.9 affordable homes. "Millions have had their lives transformed by obtaining safe, decent and affordable housing", states MacDonald, and "a bipartisan consensus is emerging on the need to expand the program."
The leaders of several of the country’s largest affordable housing nonprofits also responded to last week’s Wall Street Journal article by reiterating that the “the housing credit should be expanded, not ‘killed.’” These leaders rebutted the article’s claim that local solutions can solve a national crisis; instead, they highlighted the desperate need for affordable housing across the country and touted the Housing Credit’s strong record of success and efficiency. The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC) also responded to the article, writing that the Housing Credit “does precisely what a tax credit should – it encourages an activity that would not otherwise occur, and more efficiently than otherwise could be done.”