Federal COVID-19 Response Resources Relating to Affordable Housing

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Updates

AHTCC and Partners Provide Housing Credit Recommendations for Federal COVID-19 Response

Given the significant impact of the current COVID-19 crisis on the ability develop to build and preserve affordable housing, the AHTCC and our partners at the ACTION Campaign have provided recommendations to Congress that will help to mitigate negative effects and allow us to continue to build sorely needed homes for low-income households by providing accommodations for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). For additional information, please see our blog post.
Our partners at the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) are also urging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department to establish emergency measures related to Housing Credit administration. The 10 recommendations include the extension of certain Housing Credit deadlines previously recommended to Congress by the AHTCC and ACTION Coalition, as well as additional deadline extensions, compliance and review moratoriums, a suspension compliance changes, and a request for guidance on the treatment of property amenity closures due to social distancing policies.
The AHTCC will continue to advocate for policies to strengthen our affordable housing delivery system at every opportunity. Beyond our intial recommendations, we will also advocate for additional resources and flexibilities for affordable housing as part of any future economic recovery package.

New Democrat Coalition Includes Recommendations for Housing Credit as COVID-19 Response Priority 

The New Democrat Coalition, a U.S. House of Representatives caucus of more than 100 Democrats committed to pro-economic growth, pro-innovation, and fiscally responsible policies, included several Housing Credit recommendations within their priority list for the continued federal COVID-19 response. Specifically, the New Democrat Coalition calls for one-year extensions to key Housing Credit deadlines and a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate, both of which were recommended by the AHTCC and the ACTION Campaign.

National Emergency Declaration May Provide Housing Credit Flexibility

A post from Novogradac & Co. explains that a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fact sheet on the President’s national emergency declaration, along with previous IRS guidance, may allow some flexibility for Housing Credit properties seeking or already receiving carryover allocations. Specifically, Housing Credit properties may be able to receive additional time to meet the 10 percent test and allocating agencies may be able to grant placed-in-service extensions for properties already receiving carryover allocations. FEMA may provide additional clarifying information. Novogradac & Co. will update the post with additional information as it becomes available.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Updates

HUD Provides Guidance on COVID-19

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a question and answer document for Office of Multifamily Housing Stakeholders, including tenants, property owners, lenders, and other participants in Federal Housing Administration and HUD programs. The document provides links to additional information, including multifamily emergency/disaster guidance, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 website, and the Health Resources and Services Administration’s health center database. See a summary of the document from Nixon Peabody here. Additional multifamily resources and fact sheets can be found on the HUD website here.

REAC Inspections Suspended

In light of the national emergency, the Real Estate Assessment Center, responsible for the inspection of HUD-assisted housing, has announced they will suspend inspections except where there is a an exigent circumstance or threat to life or property. A letter with more information from HUD leadership to Executive Directors, Tribal Leaders, and multifamily property owners can be found here.

Federal Housing Finance Agency

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Providing Mortgage Forebearance to Ensure Renters are Not Evicted 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will provide mortgage forebearance for multifamily property owners that suspend all evictions of residents unable to pay rent due to the CONVID-19 cirisis. In a statement, FHFA Director Mark Calabria said, “Renters should not have to worry about being evicted from their home, and property owners should not have to worry about losing their building, due to the coronavirus. The multifamily forbearance and eviction suspension offered by the Enterprises should bring peace of mind to millions of families during this uncertain and difficult time.”
FHFA has also suspended foreclosures and evictions for single-family mortgages, provided forbearance for single-family borrowers, and provided additional flexibilities. See more about FHFA’s COVID-19 response here.

Federal Relief Packages in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

  • Initial Emergency Funding Package: On March 6, President Trump approved an initial $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus package, providing funding for vaccine development and state and local health budgets.
  • National Emergency Declartion: On March 13, President Trump declared the pandemic a national emergency, adding $50 billion in government funding to address the needs of the country.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act: On March 19, President Donald Trump has signed a second relief package to provide funding for free coronavirus testing, emergency paid sick leave, paid family medical leave, unemployment insurance, food assistance, and other health provisions.
  • Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: On March 27, President Trump signed a third relief package (see section-by-section bill summary, bill text, FAQ document), providing $2 trillion to combat the spread of the virus, deepen the safety net for impacted households, and support impacted business. For additional information, please see our blog post about the the components of the bill.
  • Potential for Fourth COVID-19 Relief Package: Given the progression of the crisis and the economic fallout, a fourth and potentially other follow-up relief and recovery packages are possible.

Additional COVID-19 Response Resources

If you have any suggestions for additional resources, please contact Megan John.