Congressmen Introduce Legislation to Expand Affordable Housing Programs

Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 1:45am

Reps. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) and Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) yesterday introduced legislation to preserve hundreds of thousands of apartments as affordable housing for the next 30 years. H.R. 3485, the Affordable Housing Preservation Tax Relief Act of 2003, authorizes states to allocate preservation tax credits to owners of affordable housing properties who are willing to sell those properties to new owners committed to preserve them. Taxes that sellers would otherwise face—so-called “exit taxes”—have discouraged sales to buyers committed to preserving the properties. State allocating agencies would be responsible for qualifying new owners, calculating the amount of tax relief due the owner and monitoring compliance with the bill’s affordability requirements. The National Council of State Housing Agencies applauded the measure, noting that states already carry out similar responsibilities in their administration of the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) and suggested that as such, the proposed program would share many of the strengths for which the LIHTC program is well known. NCSHA also reports that in a recently completed analysis, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates that more than 300,000 apartments could be transferred to “socially responsible” owners if exit tax relief were enacted. Click here for a copy of the measure.