Senator Wyden Proposes a Middle Income Housing Tax Credit Program

United States CongressOn September 22, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) released a discussion draft of legislation to create a new federal tax program.  Senator Wyden's Middle Income Housing Tax Credit—modeled off of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit—is designed to provide incentives to developers who build or preserve rental housing affordable to households earning 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Wyden has invited stakeholders, members of Congress, federal officials and others to review the draft legislation and submit comments on a variety of issues, including the proposed income limits. All comments should be submitted to MIHTC@finance.senate.gov.

NLIHC is deeply concerned about this proposed legislation and will submit comments to Senator Wyden's office. While it is critical that Congress increases resources to address our nation's affordable housing crisis, new federal resource must be targeted to serve those with the greatest needs, families with extremely low incomes (ELI).

Instead, Senator Wyden's bill would serve families who, by all accounts, do not face significant challenges. The proposed Middle Income Housing Tax Credit program would target significant new resources to moderate income households. In Oregon, for every 100 moderate-income families, there are 103 apartments that are affordable and available to them. In contrast, for every 100 ELI families in Oregon, there are just 22 apartments that are affordable and available to them. Four out of five ELI families in Oregon pay more than half of their income on rent, compared to just 2% of moderate-income families. NLIHC’s 2016 GAP Analysis report shows the same trends throughout the country.

A section-by-section summary of the draft bill and request for comment is available here: http://bit.ly/2dewmYk

NLIHC’s Oregon Housing Needs Factsheet can be found here: http://bit.ly/2d3omqS