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Affordable Housing Critical Needs Magnified by COVID-19

Arlene Conn, PHADA Policy Analyst

With over 40 million Americans filing unemployment claims due to COVID and 10.8 million households paying more than half their income towards rent, the massive need for affordable homes has reached further urgency. The ACTION Campaign, of which PHADA is a member, has been advocating for the last several months for legislative and regulatory intervention to ensure the continued viability of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties currently in service and also in the construction and development pipeline. The Campaign outlined its concerns in a recent letter to Congress, including a number of flexibilities specific to the housing tax credit.

Emily Cadik, executive director of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, wrote in Affordable Housing Finance, affordable housing developments already in the pipeline “…are faced with construction labor shortages and delays, supply chain disruptions, staffing and leasing issues, financing shortfalls, tenant safety issues, and other obstacles.” Cadik notes that there is precedent for providing these types of disaster-related measures and that “…extensions of some key deadlines – such as placement-in-service and the 10 percent test – are already allowable in nearly 50 states that have been declared disaster areas.”

 

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