Housing Tax Credits up for extension – take action

The Senate Finance Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, Congressional and White House leadership are finalizing details on legislation that would extend dozens of expired tax provisions either temporarily or permanently before the December 11 deadline.

Take action today to influence the bill in support of permanent 9 and 4 percent minimum housing credit rates.

The minimum housing credit rates legislation in the Senate (S. 1193) and House (H.R. 1142) have broad bipartisan support. While our two senators and six of Minnesota’s Congressional representatives are supporting minimum housing credit rates by cosponsoring the legislation, it is critical for advocates to urge our elected officials to include permanent fixed housing credit rates in the final tax extenders package.

Currently, the 9 and 4 percent housing credit rates are “floating” rather than fixed, which has led to 15–20 percent less housing credit equity available for any given affordable housing development. Consequently, more projects are faced with increasingly difficult financing gaps to fill. Fixed 9 and 4 percent minimum housing credit rates will make the development of affordable housing more predictable and financially feasible. Year after year, Congress has extended the minimum housing credit rates retroactively; however, retroactive extensions do not trigger the market effects to enhance more development from affordable housing developers, who might have already received the credits. 

Call your Congressional representatives today and tell them that permanent fixed 9 and 4 percent housing credit rates must be included in the tax extenders package because:

  • Fixed rates make the development of affordable housing more predictable and financially feasible (i.e. see the Housing Credit rate fact sheet).
  • The housing credit benefits Minnesota communities and our local economy (i.e. see the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Impact in Minnesota).
  • Retroactive extensions do not benefit developments for which the credits have already been awarded.
  • Minimum housing credit rates provide significant benefit for minimal cost. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates fixing the 9 and 4 percent rate would cost only $5 million over 10 years.
  • Permanently extending the minimum credit rates will help low-income families.

For information on the impact of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program in your Congressional District, check out ACTION Campaign’s district profiles.