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Affordable Housing News

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Vol. 22 Issue 22

  

U.S. Senior Rental Housing Crisis Projected to Worsen(Colleen Bloom, LeadingAge) – Projecting Trends in Severly Cost-Burdened Renters: 2015-2025 is a report that shows that the U.S. rental housing crisis will worsen, even under the best-case scenario.

The report, released by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. and Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS), says that the number of households spending half their income on rent could rise at least 11%, from 11.8 million to 13.1 million by 2025.

The Enterprise-Harvard study projects the largest increases in severely cost-burdened renters among older adults, Hispanics and people living alone.

The number of severely rent-burdened households across these three groups will rise sharply, even with incomes and rent levels growing at anticipated inflation levels (“base case scenario”).

In the base case scenario for 2015-2025, severely rent-burdened households will increase:

  • 42% among senior households age 65 and older.
  • 27% among Hispanic households with severe renter burdens.
  • 12% among single-led households.

Overall, this white paper projects a fairly bleak picture of severe renter burdens across the United States for the coming decade.

Given these findings, it is critical for policymakers at all levels of government to prioritize the preservation and development of affordable rental housing.



Low Income Housing Tax Credit: GAO Recommends New Oversight
(Colleen Bloom, LeadingAge) -- Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: Joint IRS-HUD Administration Could Help Address Weaknesses in Oversight is a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that suggests a joint administration between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would benefit the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Please click here to view the report.

The report suggests that the IRS currently lacks appropriate resources to engage in more than minimal oversight of the program. It notes that, since 1986, the IRS has conducted seven audits of 56 state housing finance agencies (HFA) on which the IRS relies to administer and oversee the program.

Under joint administration, the report says the IRS could retain responsibilities consistent with its mission to enforce taxpayer compliance, while HUD, with its experience working with HFAs on other affordable housing programs, could manage oversight on the LIHTC program.

In order to enact the GAO’s suggestion, Congress would need to designate HUD as a joint administrator of the LIHTC program. But not all stakeholders support this recommendation.

Industry Groups Oppose GAO's Joint IRS-HUD Oversight Recommendation

Low Income Housing Tax Credit stakeholder groups have opposed the GAO’s recommendations, according to an article in the Tax Credit Housing Management Insider that highlighted an August 2015 letter to key congressional stakeholders in which industry groups emphasized the following points in opposition to the recommendations:

  • HUD has no experience in administering the LIHTC program and has little capacity to take on this responsibility.
  • More resources should be given to the IRS to increase oversight as the GAO found no problems with the LIHTC.
  • The LIHTC program continues to exceed the intent of Congress when it was enacted 30 years ago. It has produced nearly 2.8 million affordable rental homes, leveraged $100 billion in private capital, and supported more than 3 million jobs since its enactment.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department believes that the responsibility for interpreting and enforcing the provisions of the Tax Code should remain entirely with the IRS. But Treasury is supporting research and analysis by HUD on the program’s effectiveness.

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