Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) unveiled the “Rent Relief Act of 2022” (S.4728) on August 24. A companion bill (H.R.8357) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Scott Peters (D-CA), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) in July (Memo, 7/18). If passed, the Rent Relief Act would help bridge the widening gap between incomes and housing costs by creating a new refundable tax credit for millions of housing cost-burdened renters. The renters’ tax credit is an innovative strategy that – when paired with significant targeted investments to increase the supply of rental homes – could help solve the nation’s housing crisis. The bill is supported by NLIHC and leading national organizations from the housing, faith, civil rights, health, and anti-poverty sectors represented in the Opportunity Starts at Home (OSAH) campaign.
The Rent Relief Act would:
- Build on the success of the Child Tax Credit to provide monthly support to renters earning less than $100,000 who spend at least 30% of their adjusted gross income on rent and utilities.
- Help housing cost-burdened renters bridge the gap between income and rents by providing a refundable tax credit that covers a share of the difference between 30% of adjusted gross income and rent, capped at 100% of Small Area Fair Market Rent. For the lowest-income renters earning less than $25,000 annually, the credit would cover the entire difference between 30% of income and rent. The credit would phase out as incomes rise from $25,000 to $100,000, covering 75% of the 30%-income-to-rent gap for households earning between $25,000 and $50,000; 50% of the gap for households earning between $50,000 and $75,000; and 25% of the gap for households earning between $75,000 and $100,000.
- Ensure the lowest-income families benefit by making the credit fully refundable.
- Overcome administrative barriers that often prevent voucher holders from accessing housing by providing relief directly to renters and minimizing landlord involvement.
Read a press release about the bill at: https://bit.ly/3QU8gQy
Read a one-pager about the bill at: https://bit.ly/3KsdNv5
Read the legislative text at: https://bit.ly/3crx2Ix
Read an NLIHC fact sheet on the “Rent Relief Act” at: https://bit.ly/3NhRLLx