Enterprise Applauds Cantwell for Supporting LIHTCs

May 11, 2010
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Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. recently came out in strong support for the Job Creation and Affordable Housing Act of 2010, introduced by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). The bill would jumpstart investment in the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) market, which is the most successful and largest affordable housing production program in U.S. history, according to Norman Rice, chairman of Enterprise.

Cantwell’s proposed legislation would bring up to $5 billion in private investment back into the LIHTC market. Specifically, the legislation includes provisions that would:

  • Increase the “carryback” period for LIHTC from one to five years. Tax rebates generated as a result of the longer carryback period must be reinvested in new LIHTC properties, thereby financing more housing and creating new construction jobs.
  • Level the playing field for the LIHTC program by building in greater flexibility for utilizing credits. For investments made after the date of enactment, investors who cannot use their credits in a particular year would be permitted to carryback their credits for up to five years.
  • Extend the LIHTC exchange program, which was established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to the tax credits generated from housing financed by the tax-exempt Multifamily Housing Bond Program.

The financial crisis and resulting shortage of new equity from private sector investors has sharply reduced the level of investment in the LIHTC market during the past few years, according to Rice. As a result, production of affordable rental housing in this country has slowed significantly and tens of thousands of jobs are at risk of being eliminated. “If Congress does not act on S. 3326, the reduced level of investment that will result is as many as 60,000 fewer affordable apartments built and 70,000 jobs lost annually in the coming years,” he said.

Senator Cantwell’s bill includes two of three national consensus LIHTC proposals supported by a broad cross-country coalition of 180 national, state and local LIHTC stakeholder organizations working together as part of the Affordable Rental Housing A.C.T.I.O.N. Campaign. For more information on the campaign, go to www.rentalhousingaction.org.