Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Immigrant Investor Program Relief Act (S. 2778) this week, after months—and even years—of negotiations on a long-term reauthorization of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The EB-5 program has brought billions of dollars of investment to the U.S. and created thousands of jobs. For years prior to the introduction of this newly proposed legislation, the apartment industry has been urging Congress to permanently extend the EB-5 program, as well as improve it through structural enhancements that increase real estate investment opportunities.
The bill makes adjustments to the Targeted Employment Area (TEA) definition and modifies the investment thresholds for TEA and non-TEA projects, and creates new set asides for rural and Opportunity Zone investments. Integrity measures and processing improvements long requested by the real estate industry are also included in the bill.
After a series of short-term reauthorizations, repeated threats from congressional leaders in both the Senate and House, and problematic agency rules released earlier this year, the program may finally have a vehicle to long-term stability. Importantly, Senator Graham is the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the program, and Senator Cornyn is a member of Senate Republican leadership, which gives him a voice in any funding packages poised to move later this year and any bills that may be attached as riders.
As the bill is reviewed in the House of Representatives and within the Administration in the coming weeks, NMHC will continue to communicate the importance of EB-5 capital for multifamily developers to all our counterparties in Washington.
To learn more about the EB-5 Program, visit our advocacy page.