Senators Cantwell and Hatch Introduce The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016
On May 19, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced legislation entitled The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016. The proposed bill would expand the LIHTC program to help create or preserve approximately 1.3 million affordable homes over a 10-year period. This would be an increase of 400,000 more units than is possible under the current program. The expansion would be phased in by 10 percent per year for the next five years.
“Affordable housing is a crisis all across America,” Cantwell said in a statement. “With skyrocketing rents and an increase in homelessness, more affordable housing units are a necessity. That is why today, Senator Hatch and I are introducing legislation to expand the LIHTC. By building more affordable housing units across the United States, more people can have a shot at the American Dream.”
Hatch is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Cantwell is a committee member. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), ranking member of the Finance Committee, and Charles Schumer (D-NY).
The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act also seeks to create a new income-averaging option to help developments maintain financial feasibility while providing a deeper level of affordability. The bill also enacts a permanent 4 percent credit rate floor for acquisition and bond-financed projects.