Bipartisan Workforce Housing Tax Credit Act Introduced
Bipartisan legislators in both the House and Senate introduced the Workforce Housing Tax Credit Act, which would establish a new tax credit to produce affordable rental housing for households earning 100% or less of the area median income (AMI). Sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), along with Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Mike Carey (R-Ohio) in the House, this bill builds on the successful Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which finances the construction of rental housing generally serving households earning up to 60% of AMI.
Under the Workforce Housing Tax Credit Act, federal tax credits would be allocated to each state, and states would use a competitive application process to award credits to builders. The bill would also allow projects to leverage both LIHTC and the proposed workforce housing credit, which would enable developers to serve a broader income range within a project. And recognizing the diverse affordable housing challenges within each state, and to ensure the proposed workforce housing credit does not divert resources from LIHTC, states would have the option to convert workforce housing credits to LIHTCs.
NAHB strongly supports LIHTC and actively advocates for additional resources to match the unprecedented demand for affordable rental housing. But LIHTC is only part of the solution, as middle-income families also face severe affordable workforce rental housing shortages, which forces workers to choose between rent burden, long commutes or the job. Nurses, teachers, police officers and fire fighters deserve affordable housing options in the communities they serve.
The Workforce Housing Tax Credit Act would complement the success of LIHTC and is exactly the type of solution we need Congress to enact in order to begin solving the housing affordability crisis.