More than 2,600 organizations have joined together to call on Congress to support the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA).
Spearheaded by the ACTION Campaign, the local, state, and federal groups have cosigned a May 31 letter that seeks to build support for the legislation, which would expand and improve the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC).
Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced S. 1557, and Reps. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), Don Beyer (D-Va.), Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), and Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 3238 on May 11. So, far, the bills have more than 100 cosponsors.
Both the Senate and House bills would increase LIHTC allocation authority by 50%, phased in evenly over two years; lower the so-called “50% test” required of housing credit properties to access 4% credits to 25%; and add basis boosts for rural developments, tribal communities, and for units dedicated to extremely low-income tenants (those who earn 30% or less than the area median income), in addition to a state determined boost for bond-financed developments.
Affordable housing leaders have long sought the changes in the AHCIA. Important components found in earlier versions of the bill have been approved over the years, but supporters are hoping to see the bill approved in its entirety.
The legislation would finance an estimated 1.94 million additional affordable homes over the next 10 years.
In all, the latest AHCIA legislation comprises over two dozen provisions, including changes that would help preserve existing affordable housing, facilitate LIHTC development for extremely low-income households and in hard-to-serve communities, and provide housing credit allocating agencies new tools to strengthen program administration, according to the letter.