The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act 2017 (S. 548) was introduced in March 2017 to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration. This bipartisan bill is critical to addressing the current shortage of rental homes that we experience as part of the housing shortage in Utah and across the country.
According to NLIHC’s report, The Gap: Affordable Housing Gap Analysis 2016, there is a shortage of 7.2 million affordable and available apartments for America’s 10.4 million extremely low-income households. These families include seniors, people with disabilities and families with children who struggle to keep a roof over their heads.
In Utah, recent analysis shows a 45,000 shortage of rental homes needed for the lowest income earners in our state. Data also shows that over 40,000 households are spending more than thirty percent of their income on housing, leaving little for other necessities.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Call on Senator Hatch, as the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, to hold a hearing on this good bill right away and work to advance the bill to a full senate vote.
- The LIHTC is a proven solution to address this growing problem by increasing our supply of quality, affordable rental housing stock.
- In Utah, the LIHTC is responsible for the development or preservation of over 23,000 affordable units.
- LIHTC has been a model public-private program for 30 years, bringing to bear private sector resources, market forces, and state-level administration in order to give low-income families, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities access to homes they can afford.
- Despite the growing need for affordable housing, Congress has not increased the LIHTC authority in 16 years.
- Each year the Utah Housing Corporation has to turn down viable and sorely needed development because the cap of LIHTC authority is too low to support the demand.
- The inability to meet the demand for affordable housing leaves many families in difficult situations, forcing families to choose between paying rent, paying for transportation, buying groceries or seeking medical care and, in the worst cases, become homeless.
We have made great strides in Utah to address the affordable housing crisis here, but without the support of this legislation our efforts will continue to fall short. Only through combined efforts can we hope to close the gap on this affordable housing crisis.
[Adapted from Utah Housing Coalition]