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NCSHA Statement on GAO Report on Housing Credit Development Costs

Published on September 18, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Council of State Housing Agencies commends the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for its evenhanded analysis of development costs of affordable multifamily properties financed by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) program entitled “Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: Improved Data and Oversight Would Strengthen Cost Assessment and Fraud Risk Management.

GAO’s findings are generally consistent with recent independent research commissioned by NCSHA and conducted by Abt Associates. GAO’s findings also highlight the many ways state agencies that administer the Housing Credit are working to ensure Housing Credit development costs are reasonable and deliver the maximum return for the taxpayers’ investment.

GAO makes several recommendations to Congress and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding data compilation, development cost certification, and syndication fee information. While NCSHA does not believe these recommendations would materially strengthen the Housing Credit, and may create additional regulatory burden on states, we welcome opportunities to work with Congress and IRS to strengthen and improve the program.

Congress could strengthen the Housing Credit by passing bipartisan legislation, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548/H.R. 1661), which would streamline Housing Credit program administration and improve our ability to use this critical resource to preserve at-risk affordable housing and help extremely low-income and other hard-to-reach populations. NCSHA urges Congress to pass this critical legislation as soon as possible.

Since its creation more than 30 years ago, the Housing Credit has become our nation’s most successful tool for building and preserving desperately needed rental apartments affordable to low-income households. It creates opportunities for millions of families and individuals who would otherwise pay an excessive portion of their income for housing, live in substandard or overcrowded conditions, or experience homelessness.

About the National Council of State Housing Agencies 

For more than 50 years, state housing finance agencies (HFAs) have played a central role in the nation’s affordable housing system, delivering financing to make possible the purchase, development, and rehabilitation of affordable homes and rental apartments for low- and middle-income households.

The National Council of State Housing Agencies is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization created to advance, through advocacy and education, the efforts of the nation’s state HFAs and their partners to provide affordable housing to those who need it. NCSHA’s vision: An affordably housed nation. Learn more at https://www.ncsha.org/.

For more information, contact Lisa Bowman, Director of Marketing and Communications.

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