Sen. Cantwell & Chairman Hatch introduce Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017

By: Housing Advisory Group
Published: March 8, 2017
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced S. 548, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017, a bill that will strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and provide vitally needed resources for the production and rehabilitation of affordable housing.  Joining Senators Cantwell and Hatch as original cosponsors of the bill are Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), ranking member of the Finance Committee; Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), the Democratic Leader; and Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Todd Young (R-IN).The ACTION Campaign, of which the Housing Advisory Group is a member, joined Senator Cantwell and Chairman Hatch in supporting this critical piece of legislation.  ACTION and its coalition of 2,000 affordable housing organizations from across the country, has sent a letter to every Member of Congress outlining the crisis in affordable housing and asking them to support this legislation.

In conjunction with the introduction of the Affordable Housing Improvement Act of 2017, Senator Cantwell released a report, Meeting the Challenges of the Growing Affordable Housing Crisis, outlining the three key factors that have fueled the crisis: an increase of 9 million renters since 2005 – the largest increase on record, the removal of 13 percent of existing affordable housing units and stagnant wages.

“The affordable housing crisis is exploding all across the country.  We are facing pressures from all sides: demand for rental housing has increased by 21 percent, but we are building units at the lowest rate since the 1970s,” said Cantwell. “If we do not act to increase the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit – our best way to build new affordable homes – by 2025 over 15 million Americans could be spending half their income on rent.  This is unacceptable.”

This is the moment we have been asking all HAG members to work toward as this legislation, in conjunction with our efforts on tax reform, will form the foundation for the future of the LIHTC program.  We ask that you reach out to your Senators and ask them to support S. 548 and become a cosponsor of the bill.  Use the ACTION letter and highlight the organizations from your state that support this effort.  You should also feel free to forward the report by Senator Cantwell and the State Fact Sheet for your state, both of which make a more than compelling case for the legislation.  Please keep us advised on the success of your outreach.

We hope to have companion legislation from the House soon and will keep you apprised as that progresses.

See update here.

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