National Housing Trust Voices Its Support for H.R. 4868

March 29, 2010
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Toby Halliday, vice president for federal policy, for the National Housing Trust, speaking before the House Financial Services Subcommittee, stressed the Trust’s and the National Preservation Working Group’s support for H.R. 4868, the Housing Preservation and Tenant Protection Act of 2010, just introduced in the Congress.

In his testimony, Halliday noted that: “H.R. 4868 safeguards affordable apartments that are home to more than 1 million extremely low-income families, elderly, and disabled persons. It includes many policy recommendations made to Congress by the Trust and the National Preservation Working Group.”

Halliday said that thousands of commercially financed rental properties are now worth less than the debt that is owed on them. “Yet many properties need to be refinanced, even as the recession forces rents downward and commercial credit is as tight as ever. One certain impact is that many residents of these properties will be displaced as a result of default and foreclosure, even though they never missed a single rent payment.”

In his testimony, Halliday focused on the problems of the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) market, which has become crippled “in all but a few markets, dramatically reducing the creation of new affordable units from its peak in 2007.” He said the proposed legislation “includes important tools” that would help to preserve affordability when assisted housing is refinanced, recapitalized, or when the underlying financing naturally matures.

The National Housing Trust is a national nonprofit organization formed in 1986 and dedicated to the preservation and improvement of affordable housing. The National Preservation Working Group is a coalition of nonprofit organizations supporting affordable housing