In a show of strong bipartisan support, more than 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have cosponsored the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) of 2023 just three weeks after it was initially reintroduced. The AHTCC applauds the growing momentum in Congress to address the affordable housing crisis by enacting this key legislation to expand and strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit).
The AHCIA of 2023 (H.R. 3238/S. 1557), recently reintroduced in both chambers of Congress on May 11, has now gained 102 cosponsors in the House as well as 13 cosponsors in the Senate, with several members in the queue to co-sponsor as well. The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Todd Young (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and in the House by Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Don Beyer (D-VA), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), plus 60 bipartisan original co-sponsors. 34 Republicans and 32 Democrats were original House cosponsors, including more than two-thirds of the Ways and Means Committee with jurisdiction over the Housing Credit. Currently, the House version of the AHCIA has the support of 31 members of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Also this week, over 2,600 businesses and organizations who are part of the ACTION Campaign called on Congress to enact the AHCIA. The AHTCC serves on the Steering Committee of the ACTION Campaign, which represents the full spectrum of the affordable housing community and all fifty states. The letter was referenced in a Politico Pro article, which stated, “Advocates for new affordable housing tax credit legislation aren’t kidding around”.
The AHCIA would finance nearly 2 million additional affordable homes than otherwise possible over the next ten years, according to analysis by Novogradac. The AHCIA of 2023 comes at a time when the shortage of affordable housing across the country has reached historic levels, and builds on prior versions of the AHCIA that have earned widespread bipartisan support since first introduced in 2016. Several key pieces of this legislation have been enacted, including a temporary 12.5 percent Housing Credit allocation increase and a flexibility known as income averaging in 2018, a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate in 2020, and a provision that would make the Housing Credit more compatible with energy and solar tax credits in 2022. However, the key provisions that would have the greatest impact on affordable housing production are still in need of enactment.
The AHCIA of 2023 includes the AHTCC’s top two Housing Credit priorities: a proposal to restore the expired 12.5 percent Housing Credit allocation increase and further increase the Housing Credit allocation, as well as a proposal to lower the private activity bond financing threshold from 50 percent to 25 percent. These two proposals alone would finance the production of 1.39 million more affordable homes nationwide than otherwise possible. Other proposals in the legislation would provide states with additional flexibilities, streamline program rules, and make the Housing Credit more efficient in hard-to-reach rural and Native American communities. The AHCIA of 2023 also includes several minor changes from the prior version—see a full list of the differences between the two bills here.