BOSTON — Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), the leading statewide housing policy organization in Massachusetts, issued the following statement on the housing bond bill released by the House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets.
“With the federal tax bill going in effect, there will be fewer resources for the building and preservation of affordable homes in Massachusetts. Without state action, our regional housing crisis will worsen, and thousands of people will be left homeless or struggling to hold onto homes they cannot afford,” said Rachel Heller, CEO of the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association. “We urge the Legislature to quickly pass the housing bond bill to ensure affordable housing production does not slow down.”
Background on the Federal Tax Bill
The federal tax bill signed by President Trump last month significantly weakens the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, a successful public-private partnership that has become the foundation for affordable housing development across New England and the nation. While the credit itself is retained, it is weakened due to the corporate tax rate being lowered from 35% to 21%. With less of a demand for tax credits, the value of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit drops, reducing investments in affordable housing by private investors.
CHAPA estimates that Massachusetts is losing $264 million per year in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit investment as a result of the federal tax bill. Over the next five years, this means the Commonwealth is losing access to the critical funding resources that would have supported the construction or preservation of over 16,000 apartments for nearly 40,000 people.
Also, the final bill increases the federal deficit by more than $1 trillion, putting immense pressure on lawmakers in future years to make massive cuts to programs benefiting low- and moderate-income people, including federal housing programs.
Background on the Massachusetts Housing Bond Bill
This legislation, sponsored by Representative Kevin Honan and Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, authorizes the investment of $1.7 billion through the capital budget in affordable housing over five years, providing critical funding to produce, preserve, and modernize public and affordable housing in communities across the Commonwealth. The legislation also expands and extends the Massachusetts Low Income Housing Tax Credit and the Community Investment Tax Credit and extends the Brownfields Tax Credit and the Housing Development Incentive Program. Detailed information on the programs funded by the housing bond bill can be found here.
Citizens' Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) is the leading statewide housing policy and research organization in Massachusetts. Established in 1967, CHAPA represents all interests in the housing field, including non-profit and for-profit developers, advocates, homeowners, tenants, lenders, property managers, government officials, and others.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2018
Contact: Andrew Farnitano, Crawford Strategies