A pair of Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., are urging their colleagues to increase the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by 50 percent.
Joined by housing builders and advocates last Friday in New York, they called for reforms to better target the lowest-income populations. Over the past 30 years, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit has financed nearly 3 million homes across the country. The proposal would cover approximately 400,000 additional units of affordable housing nationwide over the next decade.
“Access to affordable housing is essential for the health of our families and the economic strength of our communities and that’s why expanding the federal low-income housing tax credit is so important,” Schumer said in a statement. “The key to New York’s continued growth and economic strength is directly tied to the need to expand our pool of affordable housing for young people, for new families and for others – and the federal government, via this tax credit, needs to be a full partner in that effort. With thousands of homeless and housing-needy people in New York City alone, we need to do all we can to provide families and children with safe and affordable housing options.”
Last December, Cantwell secured a fix to the LIHTC program by permanently extending the tax credit rates to 9 percent of eligible costs on new construction, ending a period when variable rates made financing of affordable housing less predictable.
“Like Washington State, New York and our nation as a whole face serious challenges when it comes to affordable housing and homelessness,” said Cantwell. “The Low Income Housing Tax Credit is a critical tool that communities across the nation can use to address these issues.”
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