Housing Advocates: Under Federal Tax Reform Plan, New York State Would Lose $4.5 Billion In Affordable Housing Financing & 17,000 Affordable Homes Per Year

Tax Reform Plan Would Eliminate Crucial Tool for Low-Income Housing Production and Exacerbate New York’s Statewide Housing Crisis 

With Millions of New Yorkers Across the State Struggling to Pay Rent and Tens of Thousands Still Homeless, This Plan Would Make It Even Harder to Produce the Affordable Housing Our State Needs

A broad coalition of affordable housing advocates and organizations across New York State today responded to the federal tax reform plan recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, highlighting that the plan and its broader impacts would result in the loss of $4.5 billion from affordable housing financing efforts and prevent the creation of 17,000 affordable homes per year across the state.

At a time when more than half of all renters across New York State are rent-burdened – paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs – and more than 86,000 New Yorkers are still homeless, the federal tax reform plan would make our state’s urgent housing crisis even worse and stifle ongoing efforts to produce the affordable housing New Yorkers need.

The tax reform plan – “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR 1)” – would eliminate tax-exempt private activity bonds, which generate as-of-right 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (Housing Credits) and reduce equity in the 9% Housing Credit. These programs are critical to affordable housing development and preservation in New York. The elimination of private activity multifamily Housing Bonds, or “volume cap,” would be a devastating blow to affordable rental housing in New York as well as to affordable homeownership opportunities. Additionally, changes proposed in the tax plan would cripple efforts to use the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, which is critical to rehabilitating public housing across New York.

A coalition of New York State affordable housing advocates and organizations, including the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), New York Housing Conference, Enterprise Community Partners, Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD), LISC New York City, Supportive Housing Network of New York, the Community Preservation Corporation and CSH, released the following statement:

“This tax reform plan would take desperately needed affordable housing away from low-income New Yorkers in all corners of our state. Any member of Congress who votes for this plan is voting to make New York’s housing and homelessness crisis even worse.

“Members of Congress must act now to protect the private activity multifamily Housing Bonds that are so crucial to building and preserving affordable housing. Ignoring this call to action would mean ignoring New York’s millions of struggling renters and tens of thousands of homeless individuals, while also diminishing the dream of homeownership throughout the state. It’s time for Congress to do the right thing and rework this plan to ensure it does not take affordable housing away from low-income families in New York and across the nation.”