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President Joe Biden today called on Congress to pass legislation requiring corporate landlords to cap rent increases on existing housing in the next two years at 5% or risk losing certain tax advantages. In a fact sheet, the Biden administration also called for federal agencies to assess surplus public land and enable affordable homes to be built there and announced the award of $325 million in Choice Neighborhoods grants to build deeply affordable homes and spur economic development in distressed communities. Under the rent-cap proposal, corporate landlords with more than 50 apartments in their portfolio who exceeded the 5% rent increase limit would lose the ability to claim accelerated depreciation on their property.

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week would create a federal tax credit for the conversion of older, underused office and other commercial buildings into residential housing. The Revitalizing Downtowns and Main Street Act (H.R. 9002) has 12 initial co-sponsors (six Democrats and six Republicans) and a companion bill is to be introduced in the Senate.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced new required tenant protections for multifamily properties financed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. An FHFA blog post described the changes and reasons. Beginning with new loans signed on or after Feb. 28, 2025, covered housing providers will be required to provide tenants with a 30-day written notice of a rent increase, a 30-day written notice of lease expiration and a five-day grace period for rent payments.

Rep. Wiley Nickel, D-North Carolina, introduced legislation this week to allow low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) sponsors to access private activity bonds (PABs) 15 years after a property is placed in service without affecting a state’s cap in return for a 50-year affordability period. The Keep Housing Affordable Act (H.R. 8900) would reset the affordability period if the PABs (and 4% LIHTCs that go with PABs) were accessed after 15 years, with the option to commit to 50 years of affordability with access to PABs after 15 additional years or 30 years of affordability (without superseding the previous 50-year period) without further access to the bonds.

The California Debt Limit Allocation Committee (CDLAC) last week issued a series of proposed regulation changes for private activity bond (PAB)-financed housing in the state. CDLAC staff will conduct a public hearing on the proposed changes July 18 and CDLAC anticipates the adoption of the changes at a CDLAC meeting Aug. 6. The changes include extending one of the expiration date options for allocation to properties from 194 to 201 days, while adding a third option of 222 days.

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