On July 26, Representative James E. Clyburn (D-SC) introduced legislation to strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program by increasing the amount of credits states can allocate in a given year and increasing the credit percentage for individual projects. This bill is largely in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which made significant changes to the federal tax code, including a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The reduction in the corporate tax rate reduces the benefits of LIHTC investments and would result in a loss of about $1.7 billion of investments in affordable housing annually, translating into the loss of 200,500 to 212,400 affordable rental homes, or more, over ten years.
“With evictions happening at a rate four times higher than the national average, steady foreclosures, insufficient affordable housing options and wages that have not kept pace with living expenses, far too many South Carolinians are struggling to make ends meet. Home ownership and safe and secure housing are central to stabilizing and maintaining healthy communities and building family wealth. I hope my colleagues from both sides of the aisle will join me in addressing America’s affordable housing crisis head on,” Clyburn said.
Congressman Clyburn, who is also the Assistant Democratic Leader in the House, announced his support and co-sponsorship of a package of other bills, including the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017, which would make significant changes to strengthen the LIHTC program, including the establishment of a permanent minimum 4% credit rate. This bill was introduced by Congressman Patrick Tiberi (R-OH) and has 161 cosponsors.