Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Reintroduced

Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Reintroduced

It was great to see so many of you at the Housing Advisory Group Washington Congressional Forum. We will be sending you a report on the Forum highlights, but first wanted to let you know of the great news that the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 was introduced on June 4th. The legislation is bipartisan and bicameral. On the Senate side, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA); Johnny Isakson (R-GA); Ron Wyden (D-OR); and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced S. 1703. The companion bill, H.R. 3077, was introduced in the House by Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA); Kenny Marchant (R-TX); Don Beyer (D-VA); and Jackie Walorski (R-IN).

The new bills retain the provisions from S. 548, affordable housing legislation introduced in the 115th Congress, but make important improvements and enhancements. Key provisions carried forward include:

• A 50 percent increase in housing credit allocations, phased in over five years.
• A permanent minimum 4 percent rate for credits used to finance acquisitions and housing bond-financed developments.
H.R. 3077 and S. 1703 contain several new provision, including:
• Giving states the ability to provide up to a 30 percent basis boost to properties in rural areas if needed for financial feasibility.
• Allowing states to provide up to a 30 percent basis boost for bond-financed properties if necessary for financial feasibility.
• Clarifying the general public use language to ensure that bonds can be used to develop properties specifically for veterans and other specific populations.
• Allowing states to use recycled multifamily bond proceeds to finance homeownership through Mortgage Revenue Bonds, therefore allowing more new bond cap for multifamily production that would be eligible for the 4 percent credit authority.
• Aligning the housing credit statute with the Violence Against Women Act to better protect domestic violence victims in affordable housing properties.
• Ensuring that cost reasonableness will be considered as part of selection criteria.

We are working with the industry and the ACTION Campaign to encourage Members of Congress to cosponsor this very important legislation. In that regard, Housing Advisory Group members made over 50 Hill visits while attending the Forum, and many of those meetings are already bearing fruit through cosponsorships of the bills or by requests for property tours.

Ground-breaking events, ribbon-cuttings, and property tours are a great way to educate Members of Congress about the credit. Please look for opportunities to show your elected officials what you are doing in their districts and states, and encourage them to support S. 1703 and H.R. 3077. To cosponsor S. 1703, Senate offices may contact Lara Muldoon (Senator Cantwell) at (202) 224-3441, and to cosponsor H.R. 3077, House offices may contact Victoria Honard (Rep. DelBene) at (202) 225-6311. You may find a Section by Section description of the bill here which you should feel free to share with congressional staff and colleagues. Please let us know of any conversations you have with Members of Congress or their staff about cosponsorship. Thank you.

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