Last month, the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing entitled, “Senate Budget Committee Housing Roundtable: Examining Federal Housing Assistance Programs.” The hearing, led by Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY), featured panelists including Mr. Daniel Garcia-Diaz of the US Government Accountability Office, Dr. Edgar Olsen of the University of Virginia, and Ms. Diane Yentel of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition.
Panelists and members of Congress in attendance discussed a number of federal housing assistance programs, and Senator Tim Kane (D-VA) and Diane Yentel both specifically highlighted the importance of the Housing Credit. In her remarks, Ms. Yentel stressed that in communities where there is not enough housing “we have to produce more affordable homes and we have to produce them so that they are affordable to the lowest income people through programs like the National Housing Trust fund or through deeply targeted low-income housing tax credits.” She also discussed the need for a “combination of supply side solutions and demand side solutions” to address the housing crisis, citing Section 8 rental assistance as a key supply side solution and highlighting the need for source of income protections for renters using the program.
Senator Kane, in addition to voicing his support for source of income protections for voucher users, reiterated the importance of the Housing Credit. He acknowledged how the “low-income tax credit program has been really valuable in producing housing for particular groups of people for whom there wasn’t housing,” and shared how, during his tenure as Lieutenant Governor for the state of Virginia, the Housing Credit helped successfully incentivize much needed development of rental housing for people with disabilities. To view the entire Senate Budget Committee hearing, click here.