Omnibus Bill to Expand, Strengthen Housing Credit

Today Congress agreed to an omnibus spending bill, which includes two key provisions from the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548/H.R. 1661):

A 12.5 percent increase in Housing Credit allocation for four years (2018-2021), and

Income averaging, on a permanent basis after enactment of this bill, which would allow the 60 percent AMI ceiling to apply to the average of all apartments in a project rather than each individual Housing Credit apartment.

The House and Senate must now vote to pass this omnibus bill before government funding runs out on Friday, March 23.

The inclusion of these provisions is a testament of the tireless advocacy efforts of ACTION Campaign members over many years, and the strong bipartisan support we have built for the Housing Credit and this legislation. Since the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act was first introduced in 2016, nearly one-third of Congress has signed on. Thank you to everyone who contributed to these efforts.

These provisions come at a critical time, with more than 11 million households paying more than half of their income in rent. In addition, as a result of the lower corporate tax rate recently enacted through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we had been expecting Housing Credit equity to decline by roughly 14 percent. The increase in resources and new flexibilities authorized in the omnibus will go a long way towards sustaining and even increasing Housing Credit production.

We would like to thank Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), former Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH), and House Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) for their leadership, as well as the more than 160 members of Congress who have shown support for this legislation.

While there are many other important provisions in the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act that we will continue to seek to advance, the enactment of these key provisions is a critical step.

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