On April 15th, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA). This legislation (H.R. 2573 / S. 1136) would expand and strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), providing as many as 2,015,000 additional affordable homes over the next decade. It would also support nearly 3 million jobs and generate $346 billion in wages and business income and nearly $120 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenue. For more information on the bill, see the summary and details about each provision.
This critical legislation comes at a time when the need for affordable housing has reached historic levels. The AHCIA would expand access to affordable housing resources, provide states with additional flexibilities, streamline program rules, and make the Housing Credit more effective in hard-to-reach rural and Native American communities. The bill would also help states use the Housing Credit to benefit their lowest-income residents, such as homeless veterans.
While the vast majority of the AHCIA of 2021 is identical to the bill from the last Congress, there are several key changes:
- Recognizing the growing urgency of the affordable housing crisis, the AHCIA of 2021 accelerates the proposed 50 percent Housing Credit allocation increase over two years, rather than the five years proposed in previous version of the AHCIA.
- A new provision would also reduce the 50 percent bond-financing threshold to 25 percent, allowing states to more efficiently finance affordable housing, access 4 percent Housing Credits, and utilize Private Activity Bonds.
- Additional modifications from the 2019 version of the legislation are explained here.
The Senate and House bills are identical. In the Senate, the AHCIA is led by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Todd Young (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Rob Portman (R-OH). The House’s AHCIA is led by Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH). We are grateful to these original cosponsors, including Sen. Todd Young and Rep. Jackie Walorski from Cinnaire’s footprint.
We will continue making the case for more resources for the Housing Credit, especially as Congress looks to put together a comprehensive infrastructure package this year.