Senator Carper Co-Sponsors Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Address the Housing Affordability Crisis

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would expand and strengthen our nation’s most successful affordable housing program

U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) co-sponsored the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act led by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will work to build more than two million affordable homes throughout the next decade by expanding and strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), our country’s most successful affordable housing program. In Delaware alone, this legislation would provide an additional 6,000 affordable housing units, more than 9,000 jobs, and $1 billion in wages and business income over the next 10 years.

“A home is the cornerstone of family life, and all Delawareans deserve access to affordable housing,” said Senator Carper. “Right now, families across the country are struggling to find affordable homes – and far too many others are facing homelessness as a result. That’s why I’m proud to join my colleagues in supporting this bipartisan legislation, which allows us to tackle the housing affordability crisis and make a real difference in the lives of families who need it most.”

Currently, nearly one-in-four renters – more than 10 million families – spend more than half of their household income on rent, cutting into other essential expenses like child care, medication, groceries, and transportation. At the same time, nearly 600,000 Americans are experiencing homelessness on any given day, an increase over pre-COVID levels.

Since its creation, the Housing Credit has built or restored more than 3.5 million affordable housing units, nearly 90 percent of all federally funded affordable housing during that time. This includes more than 12,000 homes that have been developed or preserved through the use of this tax credit across Delaware. Roughly eight million American households have benefitted from the credit, and the economic activity that it generated has supported 5.5 million jobs and spurred more than $617 billion in wages.

“Too many families are paying too much just to keep a roof over their heads. Securing more affordable housing is key to our economic growth and individual families’ success,” said Senator Cantwell. “This legislation would increase the federal resources allocated to each state, cut the red tape that hinders financing for workforce housing, better serve people most in need, and ultimately add more than 64,000 affordable units to Washington’s housing stock over the next decade.”

“In Indiana and across the nation, affordable housing is needed now more than ever. The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act will leverage private sector investment to increase the stock of affordable housing for families in both urban and rural communities. Our bipartisan bill tackles the housing affordability crisis head on to help Hoosier families and strengthen our communities,” said Senator Young.

More specifically, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would:

  • Increase the number of credits available to states by 50 percent for the next two years and make the temporary 12.5 percent increase secured in 2018 permanent—which has already helped build more than 59,000 additional affordable housing units nationwide.
  • Stabilize financing for workforce housing projects built using private activity bonds by decreasing the amount of private activity bonds needed to secure Housing Credit funding. As a result, projects would have to carry less debt, and more projects would be eligible to receive funding.
  • Improve the Housing Credit program to better serve veterans, victims of domestic violence, formerly homeless students, Native American communities, and rural Americans.

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2021 had 43 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate and 207 bipartisan cosponsors in the House of Representatives, including the late Jackie Walorski.

A summary of the legislation can be found here. The text of the legislation can be found here.