Roundtable Weekly
Roundtable and Industry Coalition Urge Congress to Enact Affordable Housing Policies and Incentives
May 3, 2024
Housing Coalition April 29, 2024 joint letter to Congress

This week, The Real Estate Roundtable and a broad real estate industry coalition encouraged lawmakers to pursue bipartisan solutions that would increase the supply of affordable and market-rate housing through specific policies and programs to help communities meet their housing challenges. (Coalition letter, April 29)

Legislation and Programs

  • The coalition letter to Congress and the Biden administration detailed policy solutions to help develop and preserve housing at all price points by enacting industry-supported bills in the House and Senate, encouraging incentive-based programs, streamlining regulatory burdens, and supporting public-private partnerships.
  • The specific proposals detailed in the letter will work best when paired with state and local government policies to meet the demand for rental homes.
  • Specific policies outlined in the letter would streamline and fast-track the entitlement and approval process; provide density bonuses and other incentives for developers to include workforce units in their properties; and enable “by-right” zoning and create more fully entitled parcels.
  • Other programs and bills defer taxes and other fees for a set period of time; lower construction costs by contributing underutilized buildings and raw land; create incentives to encourage higher density development near job and transportation hubs; and expand and strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Legislation would also encourage Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) policies to remove discriminatory land use policies and other barriers that depress housing production.
  • Among the key bills strongly supported by the coalition are the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S.1557 & H.R.3238), Workforce Housing Tax Credit Act (S.3425 & H.R.6686), and Revitalizing Downtowns Act (S. 2511 & H.R.419). 
  • The coalition expects the Opportunity Zones program to spur the production of new multifamily housing, but to maximize its effectiveness, the industry groups recommend Congress revitalize and enhance Opportunity Zones to incentivize rehabilitation of housing units.

Biden Administration Proposals

The White House
  • The coalition described the Biden Administration’s Housing Supply Action Plan as a thoughtful proposal that rightly acknowledges that there is no single solution to the housing shortage. The letter also expressed support for several proposals included in the President’s FY25 federal budget proposal, including proposals to expand and enhance the LIHTC, the Neighborhood Homes Credit, and increased funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program.
  • However, the coalition also urged Congress to reject certain tax proposals included in the administration’s FY25 budget, such as increases in the capital gains rate. These policies would directly impact the operations of housing providers, as most are structured as “flow-through” entities where earnings are passed through to owners who pay taxes at the individual level. The tax increases under consideration would reduce real estate investment and inhibit the capital flows that are so critical to the development and preservation of critically needed housing. 

It is unlikely that new housing or tax-related legislation will be enacted before the November presidential election. Proposals now under consideration may have better opportunities for advancement in a post-election lame-duck session or during a new Congress in 2025.

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