Middle Income Housing Tax Credit Legislation Meets Resistance
A number of national organizations are opposing or expressing concerns about the “Middle Income Housing Tax Credit Act of 2016” (S.3384), introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in September. S.3384 would create a new federal tax credit to incentivize developers to build and preserve housing affordable to families earning 100 percent of the area median income (AMI) or below. It’s estimated the bill would cost $4.5 billion annually.
The worry is that the legislation would divert scarce federal resources away from investments in housing for those most in need, households with extremely low incomes. The National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) released a press statement highlighting the critical needs of homeless families and individuals. NLCHP’s statement urges Congress to prioritize ending homelessness and states that “in its current form, the proposed Middle Income Housing Tax Credit Act of 2016 falls wide of the mark.”
In addition, the Center for Community Change (CCC) Action released a statement in opposition to S.3384, stating, “At a time when three of every four low-income…renter households (are) paying half or more of their monthly income to afford housing, while only 2 percent of households earning the AMI have to spend that much, the highest priority for new federal resources for affordable housing must be directed to provide relief for these low-income rent-burdened families.” The National Organization of African Americans in Housing and the National Coalition for the Homeless have also expressed opposition to the bill.