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Statement from National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Diane Yentel on the Reintroduction of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act

Washington, DC - I applaud Senators Maria Cantwell, Todd Young, Ron Wyden, and Johnny Isakson for their leadership in reintroducing the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act to expand and reform the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), the largest national affordable housing production program in the U.S. If enacted, the bill would take important steps toward alleviating the growing housing affordability crisis by incentivizing developers to better serve the lowest income families—those with the greatest and clearest needs. The bill would help the Housing Credit better reach extremely low-income people, as well as underserved rural and Native American communities.

According to NLIHC’s report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes, there is a national shortage of 7 million affordable and available rental homes for America’s lowest income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and other individuals. Without affordable housing options, seven in ten extremely low-income households are severely housing cost burdened, spending more than half of their limited incomes on housing. Extremely low-income renters are more likely to be severely housing cost-burdened than any other income group, accounting for 73% of all severely housing cost-burdened renters in the U.S. Without affordable homes, these families are forced to make impossible trade-offs between paying rent and putting food on the table, visiting their doctor, or saving for a rainy day.

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act expands the Housing Credit by 50 percent and increases existing incentives to encourage developers to build rental homes that are affordable to extremely low-income households and in underserved rural and tribal communities. In doing so, the bill would help make it more financially feasible for developers to serve households with the greatest needs. This is an important first step to addressing our nation’s affordable housing crisis.

We look forward to working with Congress to support this and other important legislation to end housing poverty once and for all.

The Housing Credit is the primary source of financing for the construction and preservation of affordable housing. While it is an important resource, it alone cannot serve those families with the greatest, clearest needs. Read more about key reforms needed to ensure that the Housing Credit better serve our nation's most vulnerable families: