Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has introduced legislation to create a refundable tax credit for renters paying more than 30% of their gross income on housing and utilities.

Sen. Kamala Harris
U.S. Senate Photographic Studio-Renee Bouchard Sen. Kamala Harris

Under the Rent Relief Act, eligible individuals would qualify for the tax benefit by determining the total amount spent yearly on rent, taking into account the family’s annual income, and a rate of the federal government’s established fair market rent controls.

Individuals who live in government-subsidized rental housing could claim the value of one month’s rent as a refundable tax credit. Subsidized rent is normally capped at 30% of a person’s income, making them eligible for the tax benefit for rent-burdened residents.

Harris was joined in introducing the bill by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).

“America’s affordable housing crisis has left too many families behind who struggle each month to keep a roof over their head,” she said in a statement. “This bill will ensure no family is priced out of the basic security of a place to live. Bolstering the economic security of working families would strengthen our country and increase opportunity.”

The Rent Relief Act is supported by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Fair Housing of California, and the National Housing Law Project.

Text of the legislation can be found here.

A fact sheet on the bill can be found here.