Senators Leahy, Collins Introduce Legislation to Facilitate Use of Fiscal Recovery Funds with Housing Credit

Today, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the LIHTC Financing Enabling Long-term Investment in Neighborhood Excellence (LIFELINE) Act, which would allow state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to use Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (FRF) to make long-term loans to Housing Credit developments. The bill is companion legislation to the House version of the LIFELINE Act (H.R. 7078), introduced by Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC) and David Rouzer (R-NC) in March.

Both the House and Senate versions of the LIFELINE Act allow FRF to be loaned to Housing Credit developments as a soft financing source to fill debts with loan maturities of 30 years or more and allow repayments on those loans to be used to finance affordable housing, including future Housing Credit properties.

The Senate bill clarifies that FRF loans are available only to Housing Credit properties that will place in service after the bill’s enactment. The bill requires project sponsors to waive the right to request a qualified contract as a condition of receiving the FRF loan and to agree to repay the FRF loan if the project becomes non-compliant and ceases to qualify as affordable housing at any point during its extended use commitment period. The Senate bill also requires the Treasury Department to provide annual reports to several House and Senate committees on FRF obligations to Housing Credit projects and the status of any repayment on FRF loans.

NCSHA strongly supports the legislation and encourages Housing Credit stakeholder groups to ask members of Congress to cosponsor the bills and to urge congressional leadership to pass this legislation as soon as possible. If your organization would like to be listed as an endorser of the LIFELINE Act, contact Jennifer Schwartz.

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