Tax policy is a critical tool that can be used to address the nation’s housing affordability crisis. NMHC and NAA delivered that message in a statement for the record for an April 21 House Ways and Means Committee Field Hearing on the State of the American Economy: The South. The statement for the record tracks testimony NMHC President Sharon Wilson Géno delivered to the Senate Finance Committee in March.
As part of our statement, we identified five tax policies for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to consider as ways to increase the supply of affordable housing:
- Expand and enhance the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit;
- Enact the Middle-Income Housing Tax Credit to support workforce housing;
- Enhance Opportunity Zones to better enable its use in rehabilitating and preserving multifamily buildings;
- Support tax policies that help make converting underutilized commercial properties into multifamily housing more financially viable; and
- Promote the rehabilitation of multifamily housing located near transit.
The testimony pointed out that while changes to tax laws are especially important to spurring affordable housing, Congress should consider additional proposals that lower regulatory hurdles and ease construction costs, many of which are included in the Biden Administration’s Housing Supply Action Plan. They should also reform and fully fund the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program and sustain funding for federal housing support for those in financial distress and various housing affordability programs.