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October 11, 2016: NHLP Expresses Concern Over Proposed Middle Income Housing Tax Credit

NHLP joins the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and other organizations in expressing serious concerns over S. 3384, the proposed Middle Income Housing Tax Credit Act introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Senator Wyden’s bill is modeled on the current Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, which generally targets low-income families at less than 50-60% of area median income. However, the Wyden proposal would permit significant and scarce federal resources to be used to serve middle-income households. Under Sen. Wyden’s proposal, 60% of units would be targeted to households earning 100% of AMI, with the rest of the units being unrestricted. The annual cost of these credits could total several billions.

It is undeniable that the most severe need for affordable housing is concentrated among extremely low-income renters – those who earn no more than 30% of AMI. As NLIHC has reported, just 2% of middle-income renters are severely cost burdened, paying more than half their income towards their rent, compared with 75% of the poorest renters. Limited federal resources should be targeted at very low-income families, where the need is greatest. Although some middle-income households are cost-burdened in higher-cost rental markets, other more cost-effective proposals, such as permitting income averaging of ordinary tax credit properties, could more effectively address those specific needs.

A summary of Sen. Wyden’s proposal is here. Read NLIHC’s statement here.

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