WASHINGTON, DC, January 16, 2024 – The National Housing Conference (NHC) President and CEO David M. Dworkin released the following statement about the newly announced bipartisan tax agreement:
“The National Housing Conference (NHC) strongly supports the newly announced bipartisan tax agreement, agreed upon by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.). The compromise bill is likely to finance the production of over 200,000 affordable homes if enacted.
The United States is experiencing the worst housing affordability crisis in recent history. This bill will make a significant downpayment on bipartisan solutions to produce more housing that is affordable to working Americans in every state. This is why it has strong bipartisan support.
Every American is impacted directly or indirectly by this crisis – the people we rely on to take care of our kids, serve our food, clean our teeth, and teach in our schools. According to the National Housing Conference’s Paycheck to Paycheck database, the need for affordable housing is clear when comparing to wage data. Childcare workers can afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment in only 15 out of 390 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). Cashiers can afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment in only 13 of those MSAs. This is true for higher-paid workers as well. Dental assistants can’t afford to rent a one-bedroom unit in 101 MSAs, and Middle School Teachers cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment in 17 of those areas.
The compromise bill isn’t perfect. We would have liked to see provisions to incentivize more housing for extremely low-income Americans and build and rehab more housing in underserved neighborhoods. But we also recognize that the perfect cannot be the enemy of the good, and this is a good bill.
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program is the nation’s most successful housing production tool, responsible for 90% of federally funded affordable construction and financing nearly 3.5 million affordable homes since 1986. The compromise bill reinstates the lapsed 12.5% allocation increase for the years 2023 through 2025 and lowers the 50% bond financing test to 30% for Private Activity Bond allocations in 2024 and 2025. These two provisions will result in hundreds of thousands of new housing units at a time when production is sorely needed.”