Washington, DC - The final tax bill passed by the Senate yesterday and the House today fails to expand housing resources for people with the lowest incomes, but instead provides massive tax cuts to wealthy individuals and corporations, increases the national debt by at least $1 trillion over a decade, and threatens vital safety net programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and those for affordable housing and homelessness prevention.
Although the bill retains the tax exemption for private activity bonds and preserves the 9% and 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) – a notable achievement by affordable housing advocates - it fails to include any of the bipartisan reforms that would improve the Housing Credit to help it better serve extremely low income households or people experiencing homelessness. It also fails to make adjustments to offset the impact of the lowered corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, which will reduce the value of Housing Credits to corporate investors. It redirects housing dollars generated from reforms to the mortgage interest deduction to provide even deeper tax cuts for billionaires and corporations. The significant deficits produced by the tax bill may trigger automatic funding cuts to the national Housing Trust Fund—a program that helps build and preserve rental homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes, including those experiencing homelessness—and will likely put future investments in affordable housing at HUD and USDA at risk of deep spending cuts.
“This bill will exacerbate income inequality in America, and the massive deficits it creates will be used to push cuts to vital safety net programs struggling families so desperately need,” said National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Diane Yentel. “It disproportionately benefits the top 1% of earners and corporations while threatening the critical programs millions of low income families rely on to help them meet their basic needs, to thrive and succeed.”
Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.