On March 7, Senate Finance Committee member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017, S. 548. The bill would increase Housing Credit authority by 50 percent over a five-year period and enact approximately 20 modifications to the program that would strengthen it by providing states new flexibility, simplifying program requirements, supporting the preservation of existing affordable housing, and facilitating Housing Credit development in challenging markets and for hard-to-reach populations. It includes all of NCSHA’s Housing Credit-related board-adopted legislative priorities. This section-by-section summary describes the policy modifications S. 548 would make to the program.
Senator Cantwell and Senator Hatch were joined in introducing the bill by 11 other senators: Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Todd Young (R-IN).
On the House side, senior Ways and Means Committee member Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) soon will be introducing companion legislation. While the House bill will not include the cap increase, it will have nearly all of the other program changes in S.548.