On March 21, Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 1661). The bipartisan bill aims to improve the Low Income Housing Tax Credit through a number of changes:
- Establishes a minimum 4% rate for credits paired with bonds
- Allows for income averaging at LIHTC properties – caps household income at 80% AMI and allows for the average income to be 60% AMI rather than cap all units at 60%. Including higher incomes would allow projects to feasibly target deeper affordability.
- Streamlines income eligibility for rural projects.
A bill summary is available outlining all improvements.
The bill serves as companion legislation to S. 548, introduced earlier this month by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) earlier this month. One notable distinction between the two pieces is that S. 548 calls for a 50% expansion to the Credit whereas the house bill does not. NH&RA applauds Representatives Tiberi and Neal on taking an important step towards improving the LIHTC.
Representatives Tiberi and Neal are joined by 16 co-sponsors (9 Republicans and 7 Democrats). The Bill currently sits in the House Ways and Means Committee, with 13 of its original co-sponsors sitting on the Committee.
While H.R. 1661 and S.R. 548 are off to great starts, they need your help in the House and Senate. The ACTION Campaign has a great collection of advocacy tools and information about efforts to protect, strengthen and expand the Housing Credit, including state and congressional district-specific fact sheets on the Credit. As always, feel free to contact NH&RA as well regarding how you can best advocate on behalf of improving the LIHTC.