Expanding the LIHTC Program

From our colleagues at the Virginia Housing Alliance:

We have promising news on the Housing Tax Credit, along with a call to action.

Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have introduced S.2962, The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016. This Act will make significant strides towards addressing the nation’s severe shortage of affordable housing by expanding the Low Income Housing Tax Credit while streamlining the program and providing more flexibility. This bill would:

  • Expand housing credit allocation authority by 50 percent over five years, phasing in ten percent per year. This expansion is expected to finance the development or preservation of up to 400,000 affordable homes over the next decade.
  • Provide a minimum for the 4 percent housing credit rate for the acquisition of affordable housing and for multifamily housing bond-financed developments. This change would streamline program administration, increase predictability, and empower states to allocate more housing credit equity to properties as needed for financial feasibility.
  • Permit income averaging in tax credit properties. This would preserve rigorous targeting while providing more flexibility and responsiveness to local needs.
  • Rename the program the Affordable Housing Tax Credit.

Both Virginia Senators support this program, so we would like to see them join as co-sponsors. Background information on LIHTC program can be found here.