Legislative and Regulatory Priorities
The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization created by the nation’s state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) to advance through advocacy and education their efforts to provide affordable housing to those who need it. NCSHA’s priorities, adopted annually by its Board of Directors after consultation with all its HFA members, set the agenda for NCSHA’s advocacy before Congress, the Administration, and the federal agencies concerned with housing, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Agriculture, and the Treasury.
NCSHA’s overarching goal is an affordably housed nation. To achieve this, NCSHA will pursue on behalf of its HFA members the federal housing resources, policies, and flexibility necessary for them to respond fully to the broad spectrum of affordable housing needs they serve, including housing for families, persons with special needs, the elderly, and the homeless and those at risk of homelessness; through homeownership and rental housing; with both new production and preservation; and in urban, suburban, and rural areas.
In 2019, NCSHA will seek to:
- Protect and strengthen the state HFA role in the administration and delivery of the federal resources Congress has, over decades on a bipartisan basis, entrusted them to deliver (including through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Agriculture, and the Treasury) and advocate on a strategic basis for other affordable housing programs and policies in collaboration with other leading national organizations.
- Establish a central role for state HFAs in any reformed or revamped housing finance system — whether through legislation or regulation — and ensure the system makes capital available and affordable to all the households and communities that need it in a responsible manner, including through dedicated funding for the Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund.
- Expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit by at least 50 percent and implement improvements to it and tax-exempt Multifamily Housing Bonds to enable them to serve more low-income renters (see Appendix for more detail).
- Explore the creation of a new federal resource to support the development and rehabilitation of affordable for-sale housing and implement improvements to Mortgage Revenue Bonds and Mortgage Credit Certificates to expand affordable homeownership opportunity.
- Support the utilization of the Opportunity Zone tax incentives to expand and preserve affordable housing.
- Reduce unnecessary and burdensome regulations in federal affordable housing policies and programs to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness, and advocate for smarter approaches to regulation at the state and local levels.
- Support state HFA business development and innovation that enable the agencies to serve more households more efficiently and effectively, including new lending executions, wider capital options, and deeper relationships with non-depository housing finance companies and other sectors — including health care, education, and economic development.
- Retain and expand existing and pursue new preferred HFA relationships with HUD, Rural Development, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Banks, Ginnie Mae, mortgage bankers, and Private Mortgage Insurance companies.
- Strengthen and streamline HFA data collection and reporting on key metrics that advance NCSHA’s legislative, regulatory, and business priorities.
Appendix: Housing Credit and Bond Priorities
Note: NCSHA is working with other Housing Credit stakeholders and members of Congress to develop a comprehensive Housing Credit increase and improvement bill for introduction in the next Congress that would build on the “Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act” (H.R. 1661, S. 548). NCSHA expects to support that legislation, which will likely include an extensive list of program changes. Our top Housing Credit priorities, for that legislation and any other tax bills that may move in the next Congress, are the following:
- Increase the Housing Credit cap authority by at least 50 percent.
- Establish a permanent minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate for both Bond-financed developments and for acquisition.
- Allow states to award a 30 percent basis boost to Housing Bond-financed developments.
- Modify the Housing Credit qualified contract process statute to promote preservation, including by setting the statutory price at fair market value of the property, taking into account the rent-restrictions on the low-income portion.
- Establish a 50 percent basis boost for units reserved for extremely low-income (ELI) households in properties that reserve at least 20 percent of units for ELI households.
- Clarify the general public use requirements for properties serving veterans.
- Establish a national pool through which expired private activity tax-exempt Housing Bond authority is redistributed to states that exhaust theirs.
- Extend multifamily Housing Bond recycling authority.
- Repeal the MRB refinancing prohibition.
- Eliminate the MRB purchase price limits.
- Eliminate the MRB home improvement loan limit or at least increase it by an amount at least adequate to reflect the rise in construction costs.
- Exempt all refunding Housing Bonds from the Alternative Minimum Tax.
- Strengthen the Mortgage Credit Certificate program.
- Repeal the MRB Ten-Year Rule.
- Eliminate the MRB recapture tax provision.