On December 20, President Trump signed into law two bills that provided fiscal year 2020 government funding and some additional tax provisions (for bill text, see H.R. 1865, which includes HUD funding and tax items, and H.R. 1158). The spending package included an additional Housing Credit allocation for California in response to the 2017 and 2018 wildfires, which will nearly double the state’s allocation for the year.
The bills also included increased funding for key programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including the HOME Program, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), and the Public Housing Capital Fund, as well as increases for the agency’s budget overall. HUD funding was set at $49.1 billion, which is $4.9 billion above fiscal year 2019 funding.
Unfortunately, the tax bill did not include any provisions from the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA). A minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate – one of the key provisions of AHCIA – had been included in an earlier, broader version of the year-end tax bill. However, last minute disagreements forced a default to a narrower version of the bill that was primarily focused on extensions of expired tax provisions, and many provisions from the broader version, including the minimum rate, were removed. It is a significant achievement that the minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate advanced as far as it did, and the AHTCC will continue working with our champions on the Hill and partners in ACTION to advance it and the other provisions from the AHCIA this year.
The AHCIA continues to gain support from additional members of Congress in the new year. Far surpassing the co-sponsorship levels of the previous Congress, more than 45 percent of all members of Congress, including 38 Senators and 207 Representatives, have now signed on. Support beyond Congress continues to grow as well, as new research highlights the Housing Credit’s societal impacts, and local leaders and industry experts call for the AHCIA’s enactment. We want to thank all AHTCC members and partners for helping to build this overwhelming support for the Housing Credit.