By Allison Charette
- Thursday’s House Ways and Means Committee Hearing
on Tax Reform and Residential Real Estate featured strong support for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). Robert Moss of Boston Capital testified on behalf of the ACTION Campain on the need to protect and strengthen the Housing Credit. Members of the committee spoke positively of the program as well, including Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), who called the program the best example of public-private partnerships incentivized through the tax code.
In addition, Robert Dietz from the National Association of Home Buildings expressed support for the Housing Credit, stating that “the solution is not to eliminate the most successful affordable housing program in the country, but to provide it with the resources necessary to address the shortage of affordable housing options in our cities and towns.” Other tax reform topics discussed included the mortgage interest deduction and real estate tax deductions.(Housing Wire, April 25)
- The Senate unanimously voted yesterday to give the Federal Aviation Administration the flexibility to avoid sequestration-related furloughs that have caused flight delays (NBC News, April 26). Earlier today, the House approved the bill, sending it to President Obama for his signature. This action is in stark contrast to the lack of Congressional activity to mitigate the impacts of the sequester on the most vulnerable Americans. As previously reported in Community Developments, public housing authorities are furloughing employees in order to pay for all current Section 8 voucher holders, but many expect to cut the number of available vouchers soon. An estimated 140,000 families across the country could lose their Section 8 housing vouchers as a result of sequestration, which could lead to increased financial hardship and homelessness. (CAP, April 22)
- As part of Enterprise’s Policy Innovation Series, Jeanie Shattuck writes about America’s aging population and the increased demand for senior affordable housing. With the elderly population expecting to double in the next 20 years, it is crucial for HUD to implement Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contracts (SPRACS), which provide rental assistance and long-term security to senior program participants. The Section 202 Housing for the Elderly Program provides much needed assistance to our elderly population, and expansion will likely be needed as America’s demographics continues to change with the aging of the baby boomer generation. Read more Policy Innovation Posts on the Enterprise @the Horizon blog. (@the Horizon, April 25)
- In a bipartisan effort, the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that bans workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was introduced Thursday in the Senate for the tenth time since 1994. Discrimination has been a significant cause of unemployment and financial difficulty for the LGBT community and is not unlawful in 34 states. Among some advocates, there are increased hopes for passage during this Congress given increasing public support – polling shows 73 percent of the country backing such legislation. (ACLU, April 25; CAP; April 24)
- CoreLogic, Inc. announced this week it has acquired the Case-Shiller home price indexes from Fiserv Inc. for $6 million. Case-Shiller is one of the most recognized measures of property values in the US. (Bloomberg, April 25)