We try to be judicious and limited in urging action on Capitol Hill or elsewhere in support of RAD and other affordable housing. We only ask for your help when it can be impactful. Earlier this week, the Senate and the House each moved important bills worthy of our support.
LIHTC Improvements: LIHTCs are of course a critical but limited source of capital in making many deeper-needs RAD projects feasible. Additional LIHTC authority is critical to getting more RAD transactions done. A bi-partisan group of Senators and Representatives jointly introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) of 2019 (S. 1703 in the Senate and H.R. 3077 in the House) to strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit or LIHTC. Among many other features, both bills include a 50 percent increase in LIHTC authority while establishing a minimum 4 percent LIHTC rate, which potentially will enable ~450,500 additional affordable homes to be built or preserved over 10 years. For useful information about AHCIA, visit: www.rentalhousingaction.org/advocacytoolkit.
At this writing, the most useful action to take would be to sign on to the ACTION Campaign’s letter in support of the bill. ACTION is a long-standing coalition of affordable housing interests dedicated to sustaining and improving LIHTCs, for which CLPHA serves as a steering committee member. Read the letter here and sign on to support AHCIA by Tuesday, June 11.
FY2020 Appropriations: The full House Appropriations Committee passed the FY2020 funding bill for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) with a discretionary funding level for HUD totaling $50.1 billion. This is an increase of $5.9 billion above the FY2019 enacted level, and $13.4 billion above the Administration’s request.
The full Committee again repudiated many of the Trump Administration’s misguided budget proposals—including substantial cuts to the Public Housing Operating Fund and a zeroing out the Capital Fund, both of which are converted to Section 8 contracts under RAD.
Along with other helpful affordable housing provisions, the THUD bill called for increasing the Operating Fund by +$100 million and the Capital Fund by +$80 million over FY2019 appropriation levels. It also recognized the value of providing Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) in helping replace some of deepest-capital needs public housing properties and preserving others in tandem with RAD by increasing TPV funding from $85 million in FY2019 to $150 million in the coming budget year.
The THUD Committee’s proposals reflect Congress’s continuing commitment to fund critically important affordable housing and community development programs that will make more RAD conversions possible. Please ask your House member to support and vote for the House Appropriations passed-THUD bill when it comes up for a (not yet-scheduled) full House vote.