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Federal Spending Bill Includes Affordable Housing Credit

Tuesday, March 27, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Emily Pares
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March 27, 2018

Federal Spending Bill Includes Affordable Housing Credit Provisions:

Last week, the US House and Senate approved a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through September. Thanks to the leadership of bipartisan national sponsors, members of the Colorado delegation, and the outreach of affordable housing advocates, included in the bill were several provisions from the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act:

  1. A 12.5% increase in the Housing Credit Allocation for 2018-2021
  2. A provision authorizing households up to 80% AMI in Housing Credit properties as long as the property average remained at or below 60% AMI

This is the first expansion of the Housing Credit in ten years. Novogradac estimates the increase in allocation will lead to the construction or preservation of roughly 28,400 additional affordable units over the next 4 years. 

Additionally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development saw a historic increase of $4.7 billion in its annual budget - nearly a 10% increase over FY17. This budget increase includes significant expansions in programs like the HOME grant and housing for seniors and those with disabilities. 

After such a big milestone, it's worth celebrating and thanking the members of Congress who advocated for both these changes: Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act’s lead sponsors, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and House Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA); congressional leadership including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); and cosponsors of S. 548 and H.R. 1661 including Colorado's Representative Jared Polis (D), Representative Ed Perlmutter (D), Representative Mike Coffman (R), and Senator Michael Bennet (D). 

While celebrating the progress made in this bill, Housing Colorado also acknowledges that these increases for affordable housing are not expected to make up for the projected loss – 235,000 units - in Housing Credit production as a result of tax reform. With housing affordability at a crisis in Colorado and across the country, Housing Colorado looks forward to continuing to work with these advocates and others to ensure all Coloradans have access to affordable and stable housing. The passage of this provision could be the initial catalyst for increased support of our industry. 

Thank you to our partners at ACTION campaign and Novogradac & Co, LLP for their ongoing coverage of these federal issues. 

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