Omnibus Bill: Huge Wins for Affordable Housing

Filed in Advocacy, Housing Finance, Multifamily by on December 16, 2015 0 Comments

domeShortly after midnight, the House and Senate tax writing committees released the text to a bipartisan agreement on tax extenders.

The 2016 Omnibus also showed HOME receiving $950 million, $50 million more than fiscal 2015 appropriations. After threats to significantly cut the program in the Senate, NAHB worked with members of Congress to ensure that HOME stayed intact.

For once, the wait was worth it, as the final agreement proposed to make the 9% minimum floor on federal housing credits permanent. This is a significant victory for affordable housing and will provide all developers with much needed certainty when planning future projects.

NAHB extends its appreciation to Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) and Richie Neal (D-Mass.), along with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) for their many years of championing this effort in Congress.

The extenders legislation did not address the 4% credit used for financing the acquisition of existing properties, which will remain a top legislative priority for NAHB.

There were concerns surrounding the funding of Project Based Section 8 as HUD transitioned the program from a fiscal to calendar year funding schedule. Although Project Based Section 8 will be funded at $10.62 billion, slightly lower than HUD’s request of $10.76 billion, Congress has taken the schedule change into account by increasing appropriations by nearly $1 billion from fiscal 2015.

Rural Development’s Section 521 Rental Assistance increased its appropriations to $1.38 billion compared to fiscal 2015’s appropriation of $1.08 billion. Congress also changed the re-renewal language, including up to $75 million of funds that will be available until Sept. 30, 2017 for re-renewal of rental assistance agreements within the 12-month contract period.

Congress is expected to take up the legislation in the coming days. NAHB will provide updates as the bill moves through both chambers.

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