Congress Introduces the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2021

Congress Introduces the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2021

We want to share with you the great news that the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2021 (S. 1136 and H.R. 2573) was reintroduced today, April 15, 2021.  As was the case in the last Congress, the legislation is bipartisan and bicameral.  On the Senate side, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Todd Young (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the legislation.  The companion bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH).

The legislation introduced today largely tracks the bills from the 116th Congress with a few modifications:

  • The 50 percent increase in housing credit allocations is phased in over two years instead of five years.
  • The bill adds a new provision lowering the bond financing threshold from 50 percent to 25 percent.
  • The casualty loss provision from the prior AHCIA is updated to allow for a longer rebuilding period after natural disasters if necessary, as determined by the state housing agency.
  • The housing credit student rule is modified to clarify that formerly homeless youth and victims of human trafficking are eligible for affordable housing even if they are full-time students
  • To reflect its enactment into law in December 2020, the new legislation removes the provision setting a minimum 4 percent credit rate.
  • The new legislation does not include the “right of first refusal” modification from the bills introduced in the 116th

You may review a Section-by-Section overview of the AHCIA of 2021 here.

We are very appreciative of our Hill champions’ leadership and support and have pledged to do all we can to secure cosponsors for the bills to show strong bipartisan support for including the AHCIA in an appropriate legislative vehicle.  One possibility is a comprehensive infrastructure package that Congress will consider over the next few months.

In late March, the White House unveiled the framework for a $2.25 trillion plan that makes substantial infrastructure investments over the next eight years.  The initiative, known as the American Jobs Plan, encompasses a broad definition of infrastructure — covering roads, bridges, ports, transit systems, high-speed broadband, electric transmission systems, schools, and water systems.  The initiative also includes measures to raise wages for essential homecare workers and proposals to revitalize manufacturing.  Importantly, the American Jobs Plan includes a $213 billion investment to produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable homes

 In early April, the Department of the Treasury released a report outlining major proposals that would generate revenues to offset the cost of the American Jobs Plan.  Known as the Made In America Tax Plan, the proposal would, among other provisions, raise the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, implement a number of changes designed to level the playing field between domestic and foreign corporations, and reform energy incentives.  Significantly, the report also noted that in addition to the offset provisions specifically covered in the report, other proposals are included in the Made In America Tax Plan such as “a marked increase in the resources available through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and other housing incentives.”  We expect to see the details on this LIHTC proposal when the Administration sends its budget to the Hill in May.

Work is now underway on infrastructure legislation, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suggested a goal of July 4th for the House to vote on a bill.  In that regard, we need to be sure we continue to be a part of the conversation by growing support for the AHCIA and urging its inclusion in the infrastructure package.  We need your help in making sure that your elected officials know what you are doing in their districts and states to address the need for affordable housing, and how the AHCIA will help.  Please contact your Members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor the legislation using this advocacy toolkit.

To sign on to the AHCIA, Senate offices may contact Lara Muldoon (Senator Maria Cantwell) at Lara_Muldoon@cantwell.senate.gov or Jessica Helmers (Senator Todd Young) at Jessica_Helmers@young.senate.gov.  House offices may contact Victoria Honard (Rep. Suzan DelBene) at Victoria.Honard@mail.house.gov or Stephen Simonetti (Rep. Jackie Walorski) at Stephen.Simonetti@mail.house.gov.

Please let us know if you need assistance, and thank you for all you do.

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