Senate Banking Committee Holds Hearing on Affordable Housing Access and Safety, AHCIA and Housing Credit Uplifted
On November 7, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing on “Examining Bipartisan Bills to Promote Affordable Housing Access and Safety.” Ivory Mathews, Interim Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Columbia, South Carolina; Mark Yost, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Skyline Champion Corporation; and Peggy Bailey, Vice President for Housing Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities provided witness testimony on housing legislation introduced in the 116th Congress, including the CO ALERTS Act of 2019 (S.2160), the HUD Manufactured Housing Modernization Act (S.1804), and the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act (H.R.4300).
Although the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) was not one of the bills being discussed, as it does not fall under the Banking Committee, the AHCIA and the Housing Credit were mentioned several times during the hearing. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) noted, “We need to pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, we should expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit by 50 percent, helping to build more than 3,400 additional affordable homes in Nevada over the next ten years and millions more nationwide.”
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) said that he believes that in Montana, affordable housing and workforce housing are the “biggest inhibitors for economic development that we have, because there’s simply not any housing.” Senator Tester asked witnesses several questions prompting further discussion of the Housing Credit. Witness Bailey noted that the Housing Credit is the largest investment in capital resources and that when coupled with the Housing Trust Fund, finances units for people at the lowest income levels. Witness Mathews spoke of how the utilization of the Housing Credit has resulted in positive impacts on the housing market, how more Housing Credits could be used, and how if made available, would be used as effectively as what is currently available.
Enterprise commends these Senators for raising this important issue and highlighting the bipartisan AHCIA. To view the hearing, click here.