More than 100 national and statewide affordable housing and community development organizations are urging Senate leaders to take up the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act as soon as possible.

In a Feb. 7 letter, the groups stress that the affordable housing provisions in the legislation would result in the creation or preservation of more than 200,000 additional rental homes for low-income households.

“America has been in the midst of a housing crisis for a long time, but never has it been more acute than it is now, particularly for low-income families, seniors on fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations,” says the letter to Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the majority leader, and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the minority leader.

The move comes after the House of Representatives passed the tax package at the end of January. The bill includes key measures from the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act—the restoration of a 12.5% allocation increase to the low-income housing tax credit program that expired in 2021 and a reduction from 50% to 30% of the amount of private-activity bond financing required to access the 4% housing credit.

The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC), Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, Enterprise Community Partners, Housing Advisory Group (HAG), Housing Partnership Network, Mayors and CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment, National Association of Home Builders, National Council of State Housing Agencies, and National Multifamily Housing Council are just a few of the organizations that signed the letter.

“We feel momentum is building in the Senate for the tax bill,” David Gasson, a partner at MG Housing Strategies and executive director of HAG, tells Affordable Housing Finance. “Our hope is movement on the appropriations bills or reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration will provide a vehicle for the tax bill. In the meantime, we continue to work every avenue to get the bill addressed in the Senate and signed into law.”

Advocacy continues to be critical, says Emily Cadik, CEO of the AHTCC.

“After the tax legislation containing our top housing credit priorities sailed through the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, we and our partners are doing everything we can to keep up momentum in the Senate, where the path forward is more complicated,” she says. “We are still optimistic that the Senate will view the tax package as an opportunity for a rare bipartisan win and take it up in the coming weeks, though there is a full agenda upon their return in late February, with government funding deadlines and an impeachment taking up a lot of oxygen. We encourage everyone in the affordable housing industry to keep weighing in with senators on both sides of the aisle to emphasize the importance of taking action on affordable housing and passing the tax package as soon as possible.”