Our unique network of mission driven affordable housing developers, owners and lenders sets our policy work apart. Our approach to public policy is driven by direct experience working in communities around the country. We have proven success using business savvy combined with both public and private resources to drive real change, and through that experience recognize the important role the federal government plays in establishing long-term solutions for our affordable housing and community development challenges. Our Washington, DC based Policy team works with Congress and federal agencies to improve the effectiveness of housing and community development programs and ultimately the outcomes for our communities.
HPN members serve their communities in a variety of ways including development and management of affordable housing for seniors, veterans and families, lending to places and people not reached by the traditional financial markets, and providing housing counseling to first time home buyers. All of HPN’s member organizations work to link the communities they serve to services including— education, workforce development and health care.
To support those efforts, HPN members have collectively identified the following as their top legislative priorities for 2019.
The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) is the nation’s most successful tool to encourage private investment in the production and preservation of affordable housing. HPN asks Congress to expand and improve the Housing Credit, both the allocated 9% credits and the 4% credits which are financed by private activity bonds. HPN supports the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 (AHCIA) (S. 1703/H.R. 3077) which would make changes to help the housing credit build and preserve more homes. The AHCIA is S. 1703 in the Senate cosponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Todd Young (R-IN) and H.R. 3077 in the House cosponsored by Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Don Beyer (D-VA) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) in the House.
New Markets Tax Credit Program
The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program stimulates economic activity in some of the nation’s most distressed rural and urban communities by providing a federal tax credit for investments in qualified businesses or economic development projects. This important resource is set to expire at the end of 2019. HPN asks Congress to make the NMTC permanent by passing The New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2019 which is H.R. 1680 in the House cosponsored by Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Representative Tom Reed (R-NY) and S. 750 in the Senate cosponsored by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD).
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) helps neighborhoods and people across the country with housing assistance and community development resources. HUD an essential partner to HPN members. HPN members urge Congress to continue to invest in HUD and its programs, including the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and rental assistance.
CDFI Program Funding
The Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund administers competitively awarded grant programs that provide loan capital to community development financial institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs serve borrowers and communities the traditional banking sector does not reach. HPN requests $300 million annually for the CDFI Fund.
See It Work: International Housing Partnership
The International Housing Partnership was officially launched in April 2007. Since the 2007 Summit, IHP holds annual meetings and formed ongoing partnerships among housing leaders in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia. It is through our engagement with IHP that we have gained insights into the strengths and challenges facing our peers abroad.
In May 2016, President and CEO, Tom Bledsoe testified before the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance. Sharing insights from IHP, HPN advocated for policies that will help the U.S. system for affordable housing stay resilient, sustainable, and dynamic for years to come.