We wanted to share with you a letter from our House LIHTC champions to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on affordable housing.
Noting that the pandemic has caused significant disruptions in the affordable housing industry’s ability to operate, build and preserve affordable housing, Reps. Suzanne DelBene (D-WA), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) urged the House leadership to include a minimum 4 percent Housing Credit rate in the next COVID-19 response package. They also requested consideration be given to lowering the 50 percent test to allow more developments to fully use the 4 percent Housing Credit. We are very appreciative of their leadership on the need to act as soon as possible on these critical provisions.
Timing wise, it is unclear when Congress will consider additional COVID-19 response legislation. Congress is not expected to return to Washington D.C. prior to May 4, although negotiations continue over additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which provides grants and loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The program, enacted last month, ran out of funds on April 16. While Congress supports additional funding for the PPP, the effort currently is stalled over disagreement between Democrats and Republicans on whether to include additional relief measures beyond the PPP. As those negotiations continue, work also is underway on another rescue package that will be considered after PPP funding is extended. We are working with our industry partners to urge that any rescue or relief package include the minimum 4 percent credit and the lowering of the 50 percent test.
On a parallel track, the industry is working in support of additional appropriations for affordable housing programs, including additional funding for the HOME and rental assistance programs.
We will keep you posted on any developments. In the meantime, let us know if we can be of assistance, and please stay safe.