More than half of all members of the U.S. House of Representatives are cosponsors of a bipartisan bill to address America’s affordable housing crisis by expanding and strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), a public-private partnership that has created more than 3.2 million affordable homes since 1986. According to the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC), a national organization leading advocacy efforts in support of the Housing Credit, the level of cosponsors represents an important policy milestone.
Currently under consideration in both chambers, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) has gained 221 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as 39 in the Senate – achieving a rare level of bipartisan support. The AHCIA would allow for the production and preservation of more than 550,000 additional affordable homes across the country over the next decade.
“Members from both sides of the aisle are rallying around this important, bipartisan bill to improve the nation’s primary tool for the creation of affordable housing,” said AHTCC Executive Director Emily Cadik. “We will continue to encourage members of the House and Senate to support this vital effort on behalf of American working families, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and Native American communities.”
“The number of apartments available for less than $600 per month continued to fall in the U.S. last year while the number available for $1,000 or more per month rose by 5 million,” said AHTCC board president Michael Gaber. “Addressing this trend requires immediate action. We need to expand and strengthen proven tools that effectively provide affordable, safe and decent homes for struggling households across the country.”
The AHCIA would strengthen the Housing Credit’s impact, increasing the credit allocation by 50 percent, phased in over five years, and proposes more than two dozen provisions to streamline and strengthen the program. A key provision would lock in the four percent tax credit rate for financing developments with housing bonds and tax credits, paralleling a nine percent tax credit rate lock already in place – a change expected to provide predictability to the marketplace and increase affordable housing production and preservation.