ACTION Campaign Releases New LIHTC Fact Sheets
The A Call To Invest in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION) Campaign is a national, grassroots coalition of over 2,200 national, state, and local organizations and businesses calling on Congress to protect, expand, and strengthen the LIHTC program. The ACTION Campaign was established in 2009 by a broad cross-section of Housing Credit stakeholder organizations in reaction to the recession and financial crisis that rapidly and drastically affected Housing Credit investment. When the market started to rebound in 2010, the ACTION Campaign shifted focus to protecting the LIHTC in tax reform and advancing measures to further strengthen the program. The campaign was instrumental in strengthening the LIHTC by making permanent the minimum 9 percent Housing Credit rate at the end of 2015. Moreover, the strong bipartisan support that the campaign and its grassroots advocates have fostered over the years was critical in preserving the Housing Credit and multifamily Housing Bonds when Congress passed comprehensive tax reform in late 2017.
The campaign recently released a new fact sheet explaining how the 4 percent LIHTC works in conjunction with multifamily housing bonds and why it is critical that Congress enact a minimum 4 percent credit rate. The fact sheet points out that when the Housing Credit was enacted in 1986, Congress tied the Credit rates, which are percentages that are applied to eligible project costs to determine the maximum amount of Housing Credit authority an individual development can receive, to federal borrowing rates. As the sheet notes, federal borrowing rates have recently been at historic lows, which has resulted in less equity available in Housing Credit developments than the original rates intended. A provision in the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548/H.R. 1661), bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Housing Credit, would establish parity within the program by enacting a minimum 4 percent Credit rate, which would help fill critical financing gaps for developing affordable homes, provide more market certainty in Housing Credit financing and allow for greater flexibility and discretion for states to finance high-priority developments.
Another recent fact sheet highlights the role of the LIHTC in improving health outcomes for low-income families and communities. The fact sheet explores the growing body of evidence linking affordable housing to positive health outcomes and public health care savings, as well as the potential benefits of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act in creating healthy homes, including the adoption of provisions that would support the development of supportive housing for the chronically homeless. The ACTION Campaign has previously released fact sheets that document the Housing Credit’s benefits for rural, senior, veterans, and Native American communities, and others that describe the benefits of using the Housing Credit for the recapitalization of existing affordable housing and the creation of supportive housing. These fact sheets can be found at http://rentalhousingaction.org/advocacytoolkit.