Elderly Housing Coalition Supports Housing Credit Expansion

Legislation | August 01, 2017 | by Linda Couch

Members of the Elderly Housing Coalition, which LeadingAge coordinates, have asked Senators to co-sponsor legislation to expand and improve the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Of the housing credit’s three million homes built since the program’s inception, more than 800,000 are headed by older adults. Currently, the need for additional homes affordable to low income older adults far exceeds supply. 

In a July 31 letter, the Elderly Housing Coalition asks Senators to co-sponsor S. 548, the Affordable Housing Credit Expansion and Improvement Act. 

The bill, Elderly Housing Coalition members say, would make the following improvements to the LIHTC program:

  • Expand the Housing Credit by 50% (Section 101). The bill would increase the annual housing credit allocation authority by 50%, to be phased in over five years, to help address each state’s pressing affordable housing needs.
  • Income Averaging (Section 201) and Basis Boost (Section 309) Provisions Get More Housing Credit Homes to Extremely Low-Income Seniors. These sections will expand the number of homes affordable to extremely low-income seniors and expand local decision making around the Housing Credit’s use.
  • Tenant Income Flexibility Provision (Section 203) Avoids Displacement While Facilitating Preservation. This will facilitate the preservation of affordable housing, including HUD-subsidized affordable housing, using the housing credit.
  • Voucher Payment Provision (Section 205) Makes Smarter Use of Limited Voucher Resources.
  • Minimum 4% Housing Credit Rate Provision (Section 301) Helps Affordable Housing Preservation. This provision would provide more predictability and flexibility in housing credit financing, allowing developers to target more apartments to lower income households at rents they could afford and make more types of properties financially feasible, especially for affordable housing preservation.
  • Improve Nonprofit Sponsors’ Ability to Keep Properties Affordable After Housing Credit Compliance Period (Section 303). The bill would replace the current right of first refusal with a purchase option to facilitate the ability of nonprofits to maintain housing credit properties beyond Year 15.