The National Association of Home Builders is urging to push the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (S.548) in effect. The bill, created to help relieve the country’s affordable housing crisis, is sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
RELEVANT CHANGES ARE UNDERWAY
This bill primarily increases state allocations for both credit and cost-of-living adjustments. It seeks more affordable housing that is accessible through concessions to builders, developers, and property owners.
Tenant eligibility requirements would also have revisions like the average income test, income eligibility for rural projects, student occupancy rules, increase tenant income, and voucher payments that count as rent.
Significant modifications also apply with regard to reconstruction or replacement periods after a casualty loss. Also, changes will be seen in terms of rights related to building purchases, foreclosures, prohibitions, and different projects of assistance to Native Americans.
THE NEED TO MEET THE GROWING DEMAND
When he spoke before the Senate Finance Committee in support of the bill, NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald stresses the importance of increasing the resources that support housing production in order to meet the equally increasing need for affordability in rental housing.
He mentions that this is a “significant and needed step” to increasing supply by raising the Low Income Housing Tax Credit allocation by 50%. He shares how added construction would increase state and local federal tax revenues.
MacDonald further explained, “If we want to provide affordable rental housing for lower-income households, we cannot do so without a subsidy.” He also stressed that there really is a lack of affordable housing programs, especially for hard-working families. Which is why he believes that this legislation would improve the ability to meet the demand for cheap rental units.