Missed Opportunity for LIHTC on Budget Accord

Filed in Capitol Hill, Multifamily by on March 22, 2018 1 Comment

apartmentsRepublican and Democrat leaders struck a deal yesterday on a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package that missed a golden opportunity to significantly strengthen the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

NAHB and Housing Credit Group members have worked for months to attach to this spending package the Affordable Housing Improvements Act (S. 548), legislation championed by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). The bill includes a number of programmatic improvements to the credit, as well as fixing the 4% credit rate and increasing 9% credit allocations.

Unfortunately, while a deal was struck between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to include a slightly reduced version of S. 548 in the omnibus bill, we faced unrelenting pushback from the House Republican leadership.

In the end, congressional leaders were able to reach an agreement on the LIHTC, but in our view the final deal represents a failed opportunity to meaningfully improve the program and significantly increase production of affordable housing.

NAHB Chairman Randy Noel issued a statement expressing the association’s disappointment.

While the final deal falls well short of expectations, it will increase 9% credit allocations by 12.5% over four years (2018-2021). It also includes a permanent change to the LIHTC to permit projects to use income averaging. This provision will allow projects to serve tenants with incomes up to 80% of area median income (AMI), as long as the average income of all units in the projects remains no more than 60% of AMI.

A critical missing component of the deal is the fixed 4% credit rate. The final deal also failed to include any of the programmatic changes in the Cantwell-Hatch bill.

NAHB remains committed to seeing those changes enacted into law, and we will continue to work with our partners on Capitol Hill to accomplish that goal.

For more information, contact J.P. Delmore at 800-368-5242 x8412.

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  1. William Stevens says:

    The problem with the omnibus bill is there was so much useless pork in the bill something had to be left out or reduced. $1,3 trillion for 6 months is a little ridiculous, but the military needed there part. I wonder how much money Nancy Pelosi added for lawn mowers to cut grass at the border.

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