Today Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Don Beyer (D-VA) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), the lead sponsors of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 3077), sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) urging the inclusion of crucial tax policies to support affordable housing as part of COVID-19 relief legislation.
Specifically, the bipartisan letter calls on Congress to enact a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate in the next COVID-19 response package, noting that, “with federal borrowing rates slashed in response to the pandemic, the ‘4 percent’ Housing Credit rate is dropping precipitously – it is down to 3.12 percent for April, and now set at 3.08 percent for May – and will likely decline even further, threatening the viability of many critical properties.” The letter also notes that the corresponding minimum 9 percent rate was first enacted during the 2008 financial crisis.
Together with the fixed minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate, the letter also urges flexibility around bond financing requirements to allow more developments to fully utilize the 4 percent credits by lowering the “50 percent test.”
“This pandemic has only exacerbated the affordable housing crisis our country was already facing,” the letter states. “We cannot ignore this crucial area of our economy, and more importantly the people that rely on this program for affordable housing during this time.”
The AHTCC and our partners in the ACTION Campaign are urging the adoption of these proposals as part of any relief effort, in addition to other policies we are pursuing through regulatory channels, such as key deadline extensions, as well as other policies we will pursue as part of economic recovery legislation. Learn more about our priorities in our recent op-ed in Affordable Housing Finance and on our blog.