December 18, 2019

Federal Budget Deal Includes Disaster Relief Housing Credits for California

Congressional Senate and House leaders have announced a deal to fund the federal government for the current 2020 fiscal year and address a number of tax-related issues. The newly agreed upon bipartisan spending legislation , which has been approved by the House and is expected to be approved by the Senate and signed by the President before Friday's expiration of the current continuing resolution, includes a $1 billion allocation of 9% tax credits for California to address disaster-related housing needs in 2020. Unfortunately, the budget deal fails to include requested provisions from the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA or H.R. 3077 ) despite strong bipartisan support.
The FY 2020 spending legislation also funds HUD and USDA housing programs at levels designed to maintain current assistance levels accounting for cost of living increases. Highlights from the new HUD funding levels as reported by the National Low Income Housing Coalition include:
  • Enough funding to renew all vouchers and Section 8 project-based rental assistance contracts for 12 months.
  • An 8% ($100 million) increase to HOME Investment Partnerships.
  • A 17% ($115 million) increase to Section 202 Housing for the Elderly.
  • A 17% ($25 million) increase to the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.
  Highlights from the new USDA housing program funding levels reported by the Housing Assistance Council include level funding for most programs and:
  • Modest increases in funding for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Grants.
  • While the Section 521 Rental Assistance program received only a modest increase of 3.3%, a new provision allows renewal terms to be extended for 20 years, which could be very helpful for financing purposes.
  • 14.3% increased funding for the MPR rental preservation program along with incentives for nonprofit and public housing organizations that acquire and preserve rental properties and a modest amount of technical assistance funding.
  • A hefty 18.5% increase in funding for the Section 542 Rural Housing Voucher program.
Many thanks to all who reached out to their Representatives to ask Speaker Pelosi to make the AHCIA provisions a top priority. Representative Mike Thompson, who chairs the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, gets special credit for shepherding the disaster relief tax credits, which he has championed for several years. Please take the time to thank Speaker Pelosi, Representative Thompson and your Representatives for their successful efforts on behalf of low-income California families.
For more information, contact California Housing Partnership's Director of Legislative Advocacy, Mark Stivers at or 916-282-5106.