Congress Cuts Affordable Housing Red Tape

Congress Cuts Affordable Housing Red Tape

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On December 4, President Obama signed the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act” into law.  The $300 billion package funds the highway and transit system in our nation for five-years. Of interest to the multifamily industry is language included in the bill by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) that improves and streamlines several of HUD’s rental housing programs.

Specifically, NMHC/NAA have long supported and advocated for the streamlined language now in the new law, which will simplify the income verification process for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. The law will significantly reduce the administrative burdens faced by multifamily owners and operators by allowing recertification of rent and income calculations every three years instead of annually for those on fixed incomes.

We also urged lawmakers to make technical changes and ensure important flexibilities to properties subject to the “Low-Income Housing Preservation and Residential Homeownership Act of 1990” or LIHPRHA. The Act provides multifamily property owners with incentives to maintain affordability for low- and moderate-income renters.

As part of LIHPRHA, there is a limit placed on an owners’ ability to access a portion of surplus cash in reserves. The law removes this limitation, encouraging owners to, in part, invest in and extend the useful life of affordable properties. Ultimately, this will help ensure the preservation of affordable properties by both the private and public sectors.

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Original article posted on National Multifamily Housing Council

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