House and Senate Congressional leaders soon will begin negotiations on the next, and perhaps final, COVID-19 package of this Congress. With your help, we have been working hard to have our critical affordable housing provisions included in that bill. To that end, our House LIHTC champions, Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) are taking every opportunity to make that happen. Most recently, they have contacted their House colleagues asking that they sign onto a letter to the House leadership urging that the 4% minimum rate, 50% bond test, allocation increase, and basis boost proposals be included in the next COVID-19 bill.
Our champions need our help to make sure that there is a strong showing of bipartisan support for our critical affordable housing provisions. We urge you to reach out to your Representatives who are cosponsors of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. Thank them for their strong support and ask them to sign onto the DelBene-Walorski letter. We need this outreach to occur immediately so Reps. DelBene and Walorski may submit their letter with strong bipartisan support to leadership in the course of the negotiations. Be sure to let your Members of Congress know the impact that COVID-19 has had on affordable housing in their Districts, how these legislative proposals can help, and why it is critical that the provisions be included in the next bill.
On the Senate side, we are urging Republican and Democratic leadership to include our provisions in the COVID-19 bill. We encourage you to continue to reach out to your Senators asking them to contact Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as well as Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) in support of including our provisions.
We also wanted to bring to your attention legislation announced on July 15th by Senate Democrats that focuses on systemic racism and underinvestment in communities of color. The Economic Justice Act, through ten initiatives, would provide $350 billion in immediate and long-term investments in communities of color. One of the long-term investment proposals focuses on production of affordable housing by establishing a minimum 4% LIHTC rate. It also establishes a new tax credit program designed to lower rent and utility costs for low-income families to no more than 30 percent of their income.
Thank you for all you are doing. Contacts from back home make all the difference. If we can be of assistance, please let us know.