NMHC and NAA are encouraging lawmakers to enhance the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) by increasing program resources to promote the production of more affordable housing. The nation is short 3.9 million affordable units for extremely low-income households. This week, we supported an ACTION Coalition letter with more than 1,300 signatories that calls for Congress to expand housing credit authority by 50 percent and allow states to convert a portion of their private activity bond volume cap into housing credit authority.
We are also strongly supporting a proposal in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget that would permit so-called “income averaging” to make the LIHTC program more flexible and allow for more mixed-income housing. Program rules currently require owners to either rent 40 percent of their units to households earning no more than 60 percent of area median income (AMI) or 20 percent to those earning no more than 50 percent of AMI.
Importantly, if LIHTC program rules were revised to allow owners to reserve 40 percent of the units for people whose average income is below 60 percent of AMI, it could serve a wider range of households.
The LIHTC is a public/private partnership that leverages federal dollars with private investment to produce affordable rental housing and stimulate new economic development in many communities. It has financed nearly 2.8 million apartments and served 13.3 million residents since its inception in 1986.