COVID-19 Information, Resources & Important Links
The COVID-19 crisis has raised many questions and concerns about its impact on the affordable housing community. In the links below, you will find information about ongoing federal legislative and regulatory efforts to address potential issues and problems.
Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Reintroduced
The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2021 (AHCIA) was reintroduced on 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). Read our full update here.
American Rescue Plan Act Approved; Next Steps for the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act
On March 10, 2021, the House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the American Rescue Plan Act, a robust $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that is a major priority for the Biden Administration and congressional Democrats. The bill passed the House largely on a party-line vote of 220-211 with one Democrat voting against it. The bill, which passed the Senate on March 6, 2021 by a vote of 50-49, is expected to be signed by President Biden on March 12. No Republicans supported the measure in either the House or Senate. Read our update here.
Congress approves year-end bill which includes COVID-19 relief provisions, extends a number of expiring tax provisions & secures the permanent fixed 4% LIHTC
Backed up against yet another deadline for funding the government, on December 21st Congress began final deliberations on a major spending bill that funds the federal government through September 30, 2021. The House and Senate are expected to pass the legislation and the President is expected to sign it. The year-end bill also includes much-needed COVID-19 relief provisions and extends a number of expiring tax provisions. The great news for us is that the final package includes the permanent fixed 4 percent LIHTC. Read our update here.
Outreach needed for DelBene-Walorski letter urging inclusion of LIHTC provisions in the next COVID relief package
Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) 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. 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.
House Dems Release “Moving Forward Act” Which Would Expand & Strengthen LIHTC & Housing Bonds
House Democrats are moving forward on a broad and massive infrastructure package (H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act) that is expected to be voted on before the July 4th recess. The $1.5 trillion plan includes initiatives addressing traditional infrastructure needs such as roads, bridges, and mass transit, but H.R. 2 also includes green energy, education, clean water, broadband initiatives, and a significant portion of our affordable housing agenda. Learn more.
Wyden Outlines Affordable Housing Priorities For Next COVID-19 Relief Package
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., outlined policies to preserve and expand affordable housing that he will push to include in the next COVID-19 relief bill. Read the details here.
House Dems Introduce $3 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill
On May 12, 2020, House Democrats rolled out a major COVID-19 relief package providing additional emergency assistance to address health and economic issues related to the pandemic. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act provides $3 trillion in assistance, including direct aid to state and local governments, another round of direct payments to individuals, modifications to the Paycheck Protection Program, and assistance for first responders and front-line workers, among other provisions. The revenue titles in the bill do not provide industry-specific relief, and as such do not include our LIHTC provisions. The bill (summary here) does include a number of measures providing supplemental resources for housing. Learn more.
Housing Credit Proposals for COVID-19 Relief
The ACTION Campaign and partners have developed a list of Housing Credit proposals for COVID-19 relief. HAG, as a member of the ACTION Steering Committee and Legislative subcommittee, was instrumental in devising this proposal. We are working closely with our Hill champions to advance these proposals in future COVID-19 relief packages. Read the proposals.
As Congress prepares for the next COVID-19 relief package, the ACTION Campaign sent a letter to Congressional leadership stressing the importance of enacting our Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) priorities as part of the immediate relief needed due to the impact of the pandemic. Click here to view a sample letter to senators to advocate for the 4% Housing Credit.
House LIHTC champions ask Congress to enact a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate in the next COVID-19 response package
Noting that the pandemic has caused significant disruptions in the affordable housing industry’s ability to operate, build and preserve affordable housing, Reps. Suzanne DelBene (D-WA), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) urged the House leadership to include a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate in the next COVID-19 response package. They also requested consideration be given to lowering the 50 percent test to allow more developments to fully use the 4 percent Housing Credit. Read the letter here.
Chairman Neal & Rep. DelBene Send Letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin requesting extension of LIHTC related regulatory deadlines
Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and AHCIA sponsor, Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin encouraging him and the Internal Revenue Service to extend a number of LIHTC related regulatory deadlines. We worked with the Ways and Means staff to produce the letter in conjunction with the efforts of the ACTION Campaign to secure relief from these deadlines, as well as more resources for the LIHTC program.
While we continue to wait for a response from the Treasury and the IRS on our request for regulatory relief, there have been some accommodations provided through the presidentially-declared disaster designations. Click here to view a matrix prepared by NCSHA that compares the accommodations requested in the letter to those allowed under existing IRS Revenue Procedures 2014-49 and 2014-50, which provide relief in instances of Presidentially-declared Major Disasters, and to recent IRS Notice 2020-23, which extends certain program deadlines until July 15, 2020.
Waters Releases Extended Statement for the Record on the CARES Act
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, released an extended statement for the record on H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The statement provides guidance to the Trump Administration on congressional intent behind the law, and serves to fill out the congressional record in the absence of Committee consideration of the legislation. Read the full statement.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Providing Mortgage Forbearance
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will provide mortgage forbearance for multifamily property owners that suspend all evictions of residents unable to pay rent due to the CONVID-19 crisis. Click here for information and resources from FHFA for lenders, servicers and others who directly assist homeowners and renters adversely impacted by COVID-19.
COVID-19 RESPONSE RESOURCES
Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) COVID-19 Resource Page
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Coronavirus Assistance Information
The ACTION Campaign COVID-19 Updates And Resources
Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition COVID-19 Response Page
National Leased Housing Association COVID-19 Important Information
NCSHA COVID-19 resources and updates page
Affordable Housing Finance, A Crisis Compounded: Affordable Housing Critical for National Response by Emily Cadik, April 9, 2020
Notes from Novogradac, Four Percent Floor Could Finance More Than 126,000 Additional Affordable Rental Homes Over 2020-29, April 20, 2020
Urban Land Institute: Avoiding a COVID-19 Disaster for Renters & the Housing Market (April 2020) This brief examines the consequences of not helping renters, the assistance that has already been provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other relief measures, discuss what more is needed, and size the maximum amount of relief that may be necessary.
IRS’s latest information and guidance on economic impact payments, organized by type here.
IRS issues instructions for tapping business tax breaks via fax. Read the full update and Q&A here.
New IRS rule on amended returns can affect LIHTC partnerships (April 13, 2020). Nixon Peabody issued a Community Development Finance Alert by Forrest David Milder which discusses housing partnerships, the coronavirus and late-filed 8609s (what you need to know about claiming the LIHTC as soon as possible). Read the alert.
Fax Form 1139 and Form 1045 to Claim Quick Refunds of the Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax Liability of Corporations and Net Operating Loss Deductions In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and to implement the following provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the IRS is implementing the temporary procedures described here for digital transmission of Form 1139 and Form 1045.
Multifamily Housing COVID-19 Guidance from HUD. HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) “Office of Multifamily Housing Programs” is responsible for the overall management, development, direction and administration of HUD’s Multifamily Housing Programs. View a list of Questions and Answers for Office of Multifamily Housing Stakeholders.
HUD Issues COVID-19 Guidance, Waivers for HOME Program (April 10, 2020) HUD published two memoranda providing guidance, including suspensions of statutory provisions and other regulatory waivers, for the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program and HOME Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) to help participating jurisdictions respond to housing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read an update from NCSHA which includes the flexibilities included in the HOME and HOME TBRA COVID-19 guidance.
HUD issues mortgagee letters implementing new debt service reserve requirements and forbearance protocol during coronavirus (April 13, 2020) An affordable housing alert from Nixon Peabody discusses new debt service reserve requirements for Section 223(f) transactions and standard forbearance protocols for multifamily borrowers, lenders and servicers pursuant to the provisions of the CARES Act. Click here.
HUD issues CARES Act waivers for Public and Indian Housing programs, including Section 8 Project-Based Vouchers (April, 13, 2020) Nixon Peabody analyzes HUD-issued CARES Act waivers for HUD’s Public and Indian Housing programs. These waivers provide alternative requirements for Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections of Section 8 Project-Based Voucher (PBV) units, resident income re-certifications, and other requirements. Read the alert.