Local Government Leaders Urge Congress to Expand LIHTC
A group of mayors, county executives, and county board chairs representing communities across the country recently signed onto a letter urging Congress to enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) of 2023, S. 1557 and H.R. 3238, which would strengthen and expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. The letter highlighted that the LIHTC program is the nation’s primary tool for encouraging private investment in affordable rental housing. And since the program’s inception with the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the Housing Credit has been the primary financing source for the production and preservation of affordable rental housing. It has financed over 3.7 million apartments since 1986, providing affordable homes to over 8 million low-income households, including families, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities.
In total, 184 local elected leaders signed the letter which describes the specific provisions of the AHCIA and how they would enhance the LIHTC program. The letter specifically calls for lowering the “50 percent test” bond financing threshold for 4 percent LIHTC sites, expanding 9 percent LIHTC authority, and providing basis boosts so the program can better reach hard-to-serve communities. By allowing certain projects a “boost” on their eligible basis, this would make more projects financially feasible for these harder-to-serve groups. It’s estimated that the basis boosts in the AHCIA of 2023 would finance an estimated 320,400 affordable rental homes from 2023–2032.
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