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MAYOR BRONIN URGES CONGRESS TO PASS BILL THAT WOULD HELP BUILD 400,000 NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS NATIONWIDE

MAYOR BRONIN URGES CONGRESS TO PASS BILL THAT WOULD HELP BUILD 400,000 NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS NATIONWIDE
 
HARTFORD, CONN. (JUNE 22, 2016) — Today, Mayor Luke Bronin is urging Congress to pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 2962) to expand the low-income housing tax credit. This bipartisan legislation, currently under consideration by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, would help strengthen and expand the highly successful Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program by 50 percent, and assist in creating or preserving over 1.3 million affordable homes throughout the country over the next decade.
 
Since its creation 30 years ago, the LIHTC has financed nearly 2.9 million homes across the United States, leveraging more than $100 billion in private investment. Between 1986 and 2013, more than 13.3 million people have lived in homes that have been financed by the LIHTC.
 
Mayor Bronin, in a letter to U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), stressed the importance of passing the Affordable Housing Improvement Act for families and communities across the country.
 
"Access to safe and affordable housing is essential for the health and well-being of Hartford’s residents and the economic strength of our community,” said Mayor Bronin. "Many of our residents spend a disproportionately high percentage of their income on housing, leaving little for other necessities such as food, healthcare, education and transportation to employment. The LIHTC has long been one of the most effective tools available to address rental housing shortages and increase access to affordable housing.
 
Mayor Bronin also noted that passing this bill will help some of the most vulnerable populations from missing out on housing opportunities while contributing to job creation.
 
“Importantly, the LIHTC Program also harnesses the private market in support of the public good and is one of the most effective tools for public-private partnerships in housing,” said Mayor Bronin. "These public-private partnerships benefit of broad spectrum of residents, from those who are formerly homeless, to seniors and working families priced out of high-cost rentals. Further, the tax credit is an important job creator, generating approximately $7.1 billion in economic income and roughly 96,000 jobs per year across many industries.”
 
Across the country, there are 3.9 million extremely low-income families that lack access to affordable housing, according to a recently released report from the Office of U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA). Also, the report asserted that more than 500,000 individuals experience homelessness across the United States. However, despite the demonstrated need and the effectiveness of the LIHTC, Congress has not increased the program’s annual allocation in 16 years.
 
“This legislation has broad support and is important to our cities, our residents, and our nation,” said Mayor Bronin. “We urge your committee to pass S. 2962, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act expeditiously."
 
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 2962). Mayors from across the country have penned letters in support of the bill, including: Ed Murray (Seattle, WA); Bill de Blasio (New York City, NY); Steve Adler (Austin, TX); Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles, CA); Charles Hales (Portland, OR); Betsy Hodges (Minneapolis, MN); Dan Horrigan (Akron, OH); Sly James (Kansas City, MO); Ed Lee (San Francisco, CA); Jeri Muoio (West Palm Beach, FL); Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (Baltimore, MD); and Marty Walsh (Boston, MA).
 
Read the full-text of Mayor Bronin’s letter in support of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 2962) below.
 
 
Dear Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden:
 
I am writing to register my strong support for quick passage of S. 2962, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act to reform and expand the low-income housing tax credit. This bipartisan legislation currently under consideration in your Committee would help strengthen the highly successful Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program by 50 percent, and help create or preserve over 1.3 million affordable homes throughout the country over the next decade.
 
Access to safe and affordable housing is essential for the health and well-being of Hartford’s residents and the economic strength of our community. Many of our residents spend a disproportionately high percentage of their income on housing, leaving little for other necessities such as food, healthcare, education and transportation to employment. The LIHTC has long been one of the most effective tools available to address rental housing shortages and increase access to affordable housing.
 
Your leadership is critical. A 50 percent expansion of the 9 percent LIHTC allocation will provide an important resource to support the creation or preservation of an estimated 400,000 additional affordable rental units over the next ten years. The legislation also permits income averaging for both the 4 percent and 9 percent credits, which will allow developers to serve a wider band of people across the income spectrum. Many low and moderate income families miss out on the opportunity to secure much-needed affordable housing due to the very narrow income bands prescribed in the current program.
 
Importantly, the LIHTC Program also harnesses the private market in support of the public good and is one of the most effective tools for public-private partnerships in housing. Developers compete to be awarded credits for their housing projects and then sell the credits to investors to raise equity. These public-private partnerships benefit of broad spectrum of residents, from those who are formerly homeless, to seniors and working families priced out of high-cost rentals.
 
Further, the tax credit is an important job creator, generating approximately $7.1 billion in economic income and roughly 96,000 jobs per year across many industries.
 
This legislation has broad support and is important to our cities, our residents, and our nation. I urge your committee to pass S. 2962, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act expeditiously.
 
Respectfully,

Luke Bronin
Mayor of Hartford, Conn.

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