This morning, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced a bipartisan, bicameral tax framework that includes two much needed reforms to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. It restores the 12.5 increase for the 9 percent LIHTC through 2025 and lowers the 50 percent bond-financing requirement for 4 percent LIHTC – the “50 percent test,” to 30 percent until 2026.

In a statement Rachel Fee, Executive Director of the New York Housing Conference said,

“Bipartisan action on affordable housing is welcome news from Washington. Reducing the 50 percent test will get more affordable housing built more quickly by fixing NY’s multiyear waiting period for financing. Expanding LIHTC is critical to expanding housing supply. We’re proud to see Congress stepping up and will continue our advocacy to make sure this gets over the finish line.”

The number of tax-exempt private activity bonds each state can issue are limited by the Federal “volume cap.” As the demand for affordable housing in New York and at least 17 other states now significantly outpaces the supply of private activity bonds, the 50 percent test poses a major barrier to affordable housing production. NYHC has long advocated for lowering this threshold from 50 to 25 percent, as proposed in the bipartisan Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA), which would finance more than 60,000 affordable homes in New York alone over the next decade. While this proposal does not include all of the provisions in the AHCIA, which will continue to be a legislative priority for NYHC, it is a monumental step in the right direction.

Last week, in an op-ed for City Limits, Rachel Fee, Executive Director of the New York Housing Conference reiterated how important it is to not let this opportunity go to waste and New York Housing Conference joined the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) on a letter to leadership calling for the fix. The White House also called on Congress to, “pass housing tax credits,” from the President’s budget proposal which included lowering the “50 percent test” among other AHCIA provisions and Majority Leader Schumer expressed that he wanted a deal that addressed housing.

You can contact your Representatives and Senators today and ask them to reach out to congressional and the tax-writing committee leadership in support of this deal using this advocacy tool from The ACTION Campaign.