The House of Representatives passed a $78 billion tax bill that includes key measures to boost the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program.
The tax package passed 357-70, with 188 Democrats and 169 Republicans in favor of the bill.
“We are encouraged by the decisive bipartisan support in the House for tax legislation that would make the most meaningful dent in our nation’s affordable housing crisis in over two decades,” says Emily Cadik, CEO of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC). “The low-income housing tax credit provisions in the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 would finance over 200,000 affordable homes that are shovel ready, and we encourage the Senate to move quickly to advance this bipartisan legislation.”
Much of the attention has been on the bill’s expansion of the child tax credit, but the package also includes two important measures from the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act—restoration of a 12.5% allocation increase to the LIHTC program that expired at the end of 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 community is ready to get to work to build and preserve more sorely needed affordable rental homes for America’s low-income families and seniors,” adds Ryan Sfreddo, board president of the AHTCC and CEO of Red Stone Equity Partners. “We are thrilled to see the House advance common-sense proposals to address our nation’s acute affordable housing crisis through an expansion of the LIHTC, a proven public-private partnership model with a 37-year track record of success. We hope to see these proposals signed into law soon.”
Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Conference, calls the package “the biggest expansion of federal resources to support affordable housing in decades,” noting that New York state alone is estimated to add up to 19,000 new rental homes and over 29,000 construction jobs that can generate $3.3 billion in wages and business income as a result of the program improvements.
Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) has been one of the leading champions of the AHCIA.
“This package remains flawed in many ways, and I’ve been disappointed by the lack of Republican willingness to make improvements that will better support families most in need,” she said following the House’s passage of the tax bill. “However, I am not one to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. This package will provide greater relief to families, incentives to build more affordable housing, and reduce double taxation on American and Taiwanese businesses and workers.”
Affordable housing supporters say advocacy remains critical as the bill moves to the Senate.
“As for the road ahead, the 357-70 vote in the House is a strong endorsement for the proposal and a lesson on how legislating is supposed to work. No one got all they wanted, and everyone got something,” says David Gasson, a partner at MG Housing Strategies and executive director of the Housing Advisory Group. “I believe the Senate will be a more difficult road due to the makeup of the chamber and the need for 60 votes. It will be up to Republican leader [Mitch] McConnell if the bill succeeds. The tax bill is good policy for individuals and business, but, as we have suggested in the past, election years are all about politics, and that is the hurdle the country needs to overcome to get the bill passed in the Senate. Advocacy by the affordable housing industry and business will be so very important.”