Wyden, Cantwell Introduce Housing Bill that Includes LIHTC Expansion, Minimum 4 Percent Rate, Expansion of 30 Percent Basis Boost

Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 3:30pm

U.S. senators today introduced legislation to expand the 9 percent low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), set a permanent minimum 4 percent LIHTC rate and expand the use of the 30 percent basis boost for affordable housing properties. The Emergency Affordable Housing Act would make permanent the 12.5 percent expansion from 2018 for the 9 percent LIHTC and add 25 percent plus inflation for two years on top of that. The bill, introduced by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Michael Bennet, D-Col., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., would provide a 50 percent basis boost for properties that designate at least 20 percent of units to extremely low-income households. The legislation would expand the 30 percent basis boost to include any 4 percent LIHTC properties for which it is necessary for financial feasibility and to include all properties in rural and Indian areas. The legislation would extend the current two-year requirement to make rehabilitation expenditures or place a property in service after allocation for LIHTC properties to three years and extend the current 10 percent test to the end of the second year after allocation. The bill would reduce the 50 percent test for bond-financed properties to 25 percent through 2022 and would allow LIHTC properties facing pandemic-related delays to receive a first-year credit equal to 150 percent of the allowable amount. In addition to the text of the bill, sponsors released a detailed summary and a one-page summary of the legislation.

The legislation contains the same affordable housing provisions included in the Moving Forward Act introduced Monday in the House. The House is expected to pass the Moving Forward Act next week.

Both bills will be discussed Friday in the Novogradac 2020 Affordable Housing Friday Forums, including congressional staff working for Wyden, Cantwell, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.