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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill Thursday to create an affordable housing grant program to encourage the construction and rehabilitation of rental housing for low-income and moderate-income households. H.B. 2621 is a response to housing complications concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to create as many as 3,500 homes before Dec. 31, 2024.
Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced legislation to establish a renters tax credit for low-income households. According to a press release from Wyden’s office, the Renters Tax Credit Act of 2021 would authorize states to allocate an amount of renters credits to owners or developers of rental housing for a credit period of up to 15 years. Owners would then be required to rent those units to families earning below the federal poverty line or below 30% of the local median income.
Legislators in both houses of Congress this week introduced a bill to create a tax credit to convert unused office buildings into residential, institutional, hotel or mixed-use properties. The Revitalizing Downtowns Act (S. 2511) would create a 20% tax credit for expenses to convert obsolete office buildings, which are structures that are at least 25 years old. Residential conversions would require at least 20% of the units to be dedicated to affordable housing. Bill sponsors–Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, and Gary Peters, D-Michigan; Reps. Jimmy Gomez, D-California, Dan Kildee, D-Michigan and John Larsen, D-Connecticut–noted a decrease in the use of office space in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and rise of remote work.
A bipartisan group of legislators introduced in both houses of Congress a bill to encourage innovation in the clean energy to help rapidly scale and diversify new technologies. The Energy Sector Innovation Credit (ESIC) Act would create an investment tax credit (ITC) of up to 40% and a production tax credit (PTC) of up to 60% for low-market-penetration technologies. The credit could be applied to generation, storage, carbon capture and hydrogen production. The credit would phase out as technologies mature and Congress could take up new technology recommendations from the Department of Energy every five years.
A group of Kentucky affordable housing advocates announced its formation last week to pass a state LIHTC bill in the next session of the state Legislature. Two sponsors of legislation that would create a state low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), Republican Reps. Randy Bridges and Kim Banta joined the advocates at the event in support of the creation of a state LIHTC. H.B. 142 was introduced in January and would create a state LIHTC for taxable years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2024, in the amount equal to the federal LIHTC up to a statewide cap of $12.5 million per year. The Kentucky Legislature adjourned without taking action on the bill.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation this week that clarifies laws on certain tax credits concerning community development. H.B. 2433 increases the limit of the total amount of outstanding affordable housing lender tax credits allowed in any fiscal year to $35 million (from $25 million) from Jan. 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2025. A qualification for this credit is expanded to include loan proceeds used to finance certification construction, development, acquisition or rehabilitation of housing if such preserved housing is or will be occupied by households earning no more than 80% of the area median income (AMI) and subject to a rental assistance contract limiting a tenant’s rent to no more than 30% of their income.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced this week that it will propose rescinding its 2020 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rule and will work with the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to modernize CRA regulations. The three agencies oversee regulations concerning the CRA. An interagency statement said they will work jointly to “strengthen and modernize regulations implementing” the CRA.
A tax budget trailer bill signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom extends the state’s historic tax credit (HTC) by one year. A.B. 150 includes a provision that extends the sunset date of the HTC from taxable years that start on or before Jan. 1, 2026, to those starting on or before Jan. 1, 2027. California’s state HTC is for 20% of qualified rehabilitation expenses (QREs), with a 5% bonus for certain types of property. There is a $50 million annual cap, with a $2 million set-aside for residences and an $8 million set-aside for developments with QREs of $1 million or less.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, and several colleagues in the House of Representatives today introduced three bills that would represent a historic investment in housing, urging that the legislation be included in a budget reconciliation bill that may be considered by Congress.
The Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) will consider requests from developers for additional low-income housing credits (LIHTCs) for properties that face construction cost increases due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Program Bulletin #21-003, the MHC said it would consider requests for properties that were awarded credits in 2019 and 2020, with an additional-award limit of 15% of the original credit award. The bulletin outlined what must be included in the requests and said the requests must be submitted by email before the close of business Aug. 2. The award recommendations will be submitted for approval at the Sept. 8 MHC board meeting and will be funded from the 2023 annual LIHTC authority.
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