June 25, 2019

Senators Young and Wyden Introduce Legislation to Protect Affordable Housing

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), joined by Representatives Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Don Beyer (D-Va.), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), introduced bipartisan bicameral legislation to protect the 30-year affordability commitment of housing financed by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). Currently, Housing Credit properties are subject to a minimum 30-year affordability period. As the law currently stands, owners are permitted to pursue a Qualified Contract, which most often results in the ability for properties to convert to market rate after just 15 years. The Save Affordable Housing Act would prevent the premature loss of affordable housing and ensure that Housing Credit properties remains affordable for at least 30 years, as Congress intended, thereby fulfilling the program’s commitment to serve low-income Americans.

“I recently helped introduce legislation that will strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which empowers the private sector to increase the supply of affordable housing. Today we are taking an additional step to strengthen this program,” said Senator Young. “I look forward to working with all stakeholders to provide more safe and affordable housing options for Hoosiers.”

“The lack of affordable housing is at crisis levels in communities all over America. At a time when we desperately need to build new affordable housing, we’re losing thousands of units per year to this loophole,” said Senator Wyden. “Saving existing affordable housing units is essential to any effort to address our housing crisis. This is a no-brainer.”

“The Low Income Housing Tax Credit has proven to be a critical tool for spurring investment in affordable rental housing and providing stability for low-income Americans, including veterans, seniors, and those with special needs,” said Representative Walorski. “By maintaining the availability of affordable rental units, this bipartisan bill will ensure the program continues to give workers and families a better opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”

“Across Colorado’s 2nd district, securing affordable housing is a critical priority for many of my constituents. As our communities expand and grow, far too many are being priced out of our city limits and are being forced to live farther away from work,” said Representative Neguse. “The Save Affordable Housing Act will ensure our commitment to affordable housing are preserved for Americans across the country and I’m proud to lead on this bipartisan effort in the U.S. House.” 

“The point of Low Income Housing Tax Credit is to build and sustain desperately needed affordable housing for the long term,” said Representative Beyer. “The Save Affordable Housing Act would ensure that the credits do just that, and I hope that we will see this legislation advance soon.”

What they are saying:

“Enterprise strongly supports The Save Affordable Housing Act and applauds Senators Wyden and Young and Representatives Neguse, Beyer, and Walorski for their commitment to strengthening the Housing Credit program and ensuring that Housing Credit properties remain affordable for at least 30 years as Congress intended,” said Scott Hoekman, President and CEO of the Enterprise Housing Credit Investments. “The Housing Credit is our nation’s most successful tool for financing the production and preservation of affordable rental housing and the Save Affordable Housing Act would prevent the premature loss of critical affordable homes by closing the Qualified Contract loophole. This important proposal would strengthen how the Housing Credit serves communities nationwide in dire need of affordable housing.”

“The National Council of State Housing Agencies commends Senators Wyden and Young and Representatives Neguse, Beyer, and Walorski for their leadership in preventing the premature termination of Housing Credit affordability requirements,” said Stockton Williams, Executive Director of the National Council of State Housing Agencies. “Our country is faced with a severe shortage of affordable housing, and we cannot allow developments that have received federal resources, and in exchange pledged to remain affordable for at least 30 years, to be lost before the end of their commitments.”

“The National Housing Trust strongly supports the Save Affordable Housing Act, an essential piece of legislation to preserve irreplaceable affordable rental housing serving low-income families,” said Priya Jayachandran, President and CEO of the National Housing Trust. “We are thrilled that Senators Wyden and Young and Representatives Neguse, Beyer, and Walorski are introducing this bill, which will ensure that properties financed with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit remain affordable for at least 30 years. Correcting the qualified contract price will allow mission-driven nonprofits to maintain the affordability of Housing Credit properties for the long-term as Congress intended. Preserving existing affordable housing is cost-effective and critically important given the nation’s rental housing affordability crisis.”