On March 24, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced her plan to introduce legislation to expand and reform the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program to better address the nation’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis. In conjunction with her announcement, Senator Cantwell released a report titled “Addressing the Challenges of Affordable Housing & Homelessness: The Housing Tax Credit” that discusses the current affordable housing crisis facing families in the U.S. and Washington state and describes her proposal in more detail.
Senator Cantwell’s proposal calls for a 50% increase in the number of tax credits allocated each year, which would finance the creation or preservation of an additional 400,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. Her proposal would also reform the program to better serve the lowest income people in America. The proposal would allow state housing finance agencies to provide up to a 50% basis boost for projects targeting extremely low income or homeless families so that those projects are more financially feasible and have less need for debt financing. Senator Cantwell also proposes changes to the program’s income limitation formulas to promote greater income mixing to achieve deeper income targeting.
NLIHC has proposed a 50% basis boost for the LIHTC as a way to reach extremely low income people, as well as an income averaging reform.
Senator Cantwell made the announcement in Seattle and was joined by members of the ACTION Campaign, coordinated by Enterprise Community Partners, the National Council of State Housing Agencies and others to promote and improve the LIHTC. She is expected to introduce her bill next week.
Read Senator Cantwell’s press release at: http://1.usa.gov/1RRIJDU
Read Senator Cantwell’s LIHTC report at: http://1.usa.gov/1VYRVJr