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Growing Number of Organizations Raise Concerns about Middle Income Housing Tax Credit Legislation

A number of national organizations have joined NLIHC to either oppose or express concerns about the “Middle Income Housing Tax Credit Act of 2016” (S.3384), introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in September. At that time, NLIHC released a press release strongly opposing the bill and urging Senators not to cosponsor the legislation (See Memo, 10/3) because it would divert scarce federal resources away from investments in housing for those most in need, households with extremely low incomes. 

S.3384 would create a new federal tax credit to incentivize developers to build and preserve housing affordable to families earning 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or below. When fully subscribed the bill would cost $4.5 billion annually.

The National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) released a press statement highlighting the critical needs of homeless families and individuals. NLCHP’s statement urges Congress to prioritize ending homelessness and states that “in its current form, the proposed Middle Income Housing Tax Credit Act of 2016 falls wide of the mark.” The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) also expressed concerns about the bill, arguing that “limited federal resources should be targeted at very low-income families, where the need is greatest.”

The Center for Community Change (CCC) Action released a statement in opposition to S.3384, stating, “At a time when three of every four low-income…renter households (are) paying half or more of their monthly income to afford housing, while only 2% of households earning the AMI have to spend that much, the highest priority for new federal resources for affordable housing must be directed to provide relief for these low-income rent-burdened families.” The National Organization of African Americans in Housing (NOAAH) and the National Coalition for the Homeless have also expressed opposition to the bill.

NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel stated that S.3384 is “a misguided and wasteful use of federal resources” because it targets scarce resources to just 100,000 middle-income renters across the country who are severely cost burdened, while providing no benefit to the 12 million lower income families who pay more than half of their income on rent.

See the NLCHP press release at: http://bit.ly/2dsPr6R   

See the NHLP Statement here: http://www.nhlp.org/node/15876

See the CCC statement at: http://bit.ly/2dkg2QP

See NLIHC’s press release at: http://nlihc.org/press/releases/7163

See NLIHC’s Call To Action at: http://bit.ly/2dhI9zM

See NLIHC’s Factsheet on S.3384 at:  http://bit.ly/2dS8idK

Compare the housing needs of ELI and middle-income families by state: http://bit.ly/2dKr9px and metro area: http://bit.ly/2dEIDlc