|An amended version of the Build Back Better reconciliation legislation released today (see bill text) proposes an historic investment in the Housing Credit, including key measures to strengthen the program. Despite tremendous pressure to bring down the total cost of the reconciliation legislation from the previously-released House committee bills, the following Housing Credit production proposals were included in the updated version:
· Lowering the bond-financing threshold from 50 percent to 25 percent for five years, from 2022 to 2026,
· Increasing the annual Housing Credit allocation at a rate of 10 percent per year plus inflation from 2022 to 2024, which amounts to a roughly 41 percent increase over current levels in 2024, followed by inflation adjustments after 2025,
· Providing a permanent 50 percent basis boost for properties serving extremely low-income (ELI) households, along with an 8 percent minimum set-aside for properties taking advantage of the ELI basis boost, as well as a limitation on the amount of allocation and volume cap that can be used for properties receiving the ELI boost, and
· Providing a permanent 30 percent basis boost for properties in Indian areas.
See below for further details about the Housing Credit proposals.
The Housing Credit production proposals released today originated in the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA), which has been the AHTCC’s top legislative priority. The AHTCC played a leading role in building momentum for these proposals, coordinating closely with affordable housing champions in Congress and other advocacy groups.
The AHTCC thanks affordable housing champions Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Don Beyer (D-VA), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), and the Biden Administration for their commitment to affordable housing and for supporting the inclusion of these Housing Credit proposals in Build Back Better. The AHTCC also thanks the many other members of Congress who prioritized the Housing Credit, including cosponsors of the AHCIA in the Senate and House, and the over 100 Democratic Representatives who signed on in support of including the AHCIA in Build Back Better reconciliation legislation.
The AHTCC also thanks all of our members who have advocated for these provisions over the past weeks and months, and who have helped to build broad support for the Housing Credit over many years – your continued outreach has been essential for ensuring the inclusion of Housing Credit production proposals in the Build Back Better reconciliation legislation.
The Path Forward for Build Back Better
The House is aiming to vote on the updated reconciliation legislation later this week or weekend in tandem with consideration of the bipartisan infrastructure legislation, which would provide $550 billion in additional funding for ‘traditional’ infrastructure (see text and outline), but does not include any major affordable housing components. After passage of the reconciliation bill in the House, it will move to the Senate.
Because Democrats are using the budget reconciliation process, the legislation can pass the Senate if all 50 Senate Democrats vote in favor, rather than the typical 60 votes required under the regular legislative process. However, there are a number of issues that still need to be resolved, and the legislation is likely to be amended prior to passage in the Senate. If amended, legislation would need to pass the House again before being sent to the President’s desk for enactment.
We encourage all AHTCC members to thank any Democratic members of Congress with whom you have been engaging regarding the Housing Credit and Build Back Better. It will also be important to continue emphasizing the need to pass key Housing Credit production provisions through the reconciliation bill. Please stay tuned for more opportunities to advocate for these critically needed Housing Credit proposals and see additional details below.