Legislation has been introduced to create an optional 50-year affordability period for low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) developments.

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Under the proposal, a sponsor could elect at the time of application for credits to maintain affordability for 50 years. In return, the sponsor could access LIHTCs after 15 years without reducing the private-activity bond (PAB) volume cap. This future cap-free access to credits would encourage developers to opt into 50 years of affordability by assuring them of resources for recapitalization that might not otherwise be available, says Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-N.C.), who introduced the Keep Housing Affordable Act.

“The affordability period would reset if the sponsor uses PABs after 15 years. At that time, sponsors could either commit to 50 years of subsequent affordability, again with access to credits 15 years after that or commit to 30 years of subsequent affordability without access to more credits without superseding the previous 50-year affordability commitment,” according to Nickel’s office.

Read the text of H.R. 8900 here.

“We’re in the middle of a housing crisis in North Carolina,” Nickel said in a statement. “The Keep Housing Affordable Act is a crucial solution that incentivizes developers to maintain the affordability of homes for a long time to come. Doing so will help boost the affordable housing supply, enhance home quality, and create long-term stability for working families across North Carolina’s 13th District.”