Monthly Archives: November 2014

NAHRO Members: Share Stories about How the LIHTC Rates Helps Create Housing and Jobs!

On Tuesday, Nov. 25, NAHRO is asking members to pitch their Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) success stories to local media outlets as a part of our national push to educate members of Congress about why LIHTCs are beneficial and important to their home districts.

The fixed rate 4 percent and 9 percent rates expired at the end of the 2013 calendar year and have not been renewed. There are two legislative options to fix this problem: temporarily extending the credits or permanently authorizing them. NAHRO supports a temporary extension to allow communities to access these critical credits as quickly as possible, but hopes that Congress will approve the permanent authorization to avoid another lapse if a temporary fix is allowed to expire again.

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Action Alert: Contact your Members of Congress on Twitter

Today, we need all NAHRO members to contact their members of Congress on Twitter to urge them to pass an omnibus spending package that includes the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) bill at Senate levels.

Feel free to directly copy this sample tweet or craft your own using hashtag #FundHousingNow. Be sure to mention your members of Congress in your tweets. Find their Twitter handles here (Excel document downloads automatically).

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HUD Nominee Advanced by Senate Banking Committee

In a voice vote today, the Senate Banking Committee moved forward the nomination of Lourdes Castro Ramírez to be HUD’s Assistant Secretary of Public and Indian Housing. She now advances for the consideration of the entire Senate, a process which may be delayed by the hold that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has said he intends to place on her nomination.

Castro Ramírez, a member of NAHRO’s Board of Governors, is currently the CEO of the San Antonio (Tex.) Housing Authority.

Take Action Today: Call Your Legislators

We need all NAHRO members to call Congress  today, Tuesday, November 18, to ask lawmakers to push for an FY 2015 full-year omnibus spending package that funds the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) spending bill at Senate levels.

To participate, visit NAHRO’s Advocacy Action Center for step-by-step instructions on how to contact your member of Congress and talking points.

Or, follow these simple directions:

  • To find your Representative’s number, go to www.house.gov.
  • To find your Senators’ numbers, go to www.senate.gov.
  • Ask to speak to the Legislative Assistant who handles appropriations.
  • Identify yourself, your organization, and your location.
  • Let him/her know that your organization depends on the certainty of full-year funding and that the House’s FY 2015 T-HUD bill does not provide adequate funding for programs upon which your community relies. Ask that your legislator to push for an omnibus spending package that funds T-HUD at Senate levels.
  • Thank the staff person for their consideration and time.

Once you’ve called your three legislators, email Tess Hembree (thembree@nahro.org) to let her know how your conversations went.

Don’t forget – tomorrow is the omnibus write-in day. Visit the NAHRO’s Advocacy Action Center to send pre-drafted letters to your members of Congress.

Thank you so much for your participation. Without your support for an omnibus that includes T-HUD, it’s possible that FY 2015 may be funded entirely by continuing resolution.

Take Action Next Week to Support FY 2015 Omnibus, THUD

For three days next week, NAHRO will be asking advocates to call, write, and tweet their members of Congress to urge them to approve an omnibus spending package that includes the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) bill at Senate levels. Be prepared to take action on Tuesday, November 18 through Thursday, November 20.

This is a critical time for housing and community development programs; between now and mid-December, Congress will be making important decisions about spending and taxes before adjourning for the last time before the new Congress takes office in January. This time is commonly referred to as the “lame duck” session of Congress: watch a webinar by NAHRO’s Congressional Relations team outlining what you need to know about the lame duck session.

NAHRO will launch three days of advocacy efforts to push for an omnibus spending package that includes T-HUD at Senate levels. For detailed information on how to participate, visit NAHRO’s Congressional District Contacts page and download the document titled “Lame Duck Omnibus Advocacy Materials for Nov. 18-20.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 18, call your members of Congress.  Visit NAHRO’s Advocacy Action Center for contact information for your legislators and talking points on the omnibus. Or, visit NAHRO’s Congressional District Contact page for written instructions within the “omnibus advocacy materials” document on how to participate.

On Wednesday, Nov. 19, email your members of Congress. Visit the Advocacy Action Center again to send your members of Congress a pre-drafted, editable email about the importance of passing an omnibus spending package with T-HUD included at Senate levels.

On Thursday, Nov. 20tweet at your members of Congress. Visit NAHRO’s Congressional District Contact page for a sample tweet and to find your lawmakers’ Twitter handles within the “omnibus advocacy materials” document.

Please take action next week to ensure that your legislators know how critical the passage of an omnibus spending package that includes funding T-HUD at Senate levels is to your community.

Post-Election Update

Mid-term elections were held on Tuesday, November 4. As widely predicted, Republicans will take control of the Senate starting in January when the 114th Congress is sworn in. Between now and January, Congress will be working quickly to accomplish a number of legislative goals, including passing a spending bill for FY 2015. For more information on the impact of the election and advocacy actions you can take during this time, visit NAHRO’s Congressional District Contacts page to view a webinar that explains everything you need to know.

As of today, the Republicans control 52 Senate seats and Democrats control 46 (including two independents who caucus with Democrats). Two races are still undecided: Alaska and Louisiana. The latter will hold a run-off election on December 6.  The House, also as expected, remains in Republican control. The combination of retirements and lost races will result in major changes for the committees with jurisdiction over housing and community development. The Senate Appropriations Committee will see as many as five members leave the committee, including three from the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee.  The Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will have as many as five vacancies. Additionally, Republicans will take control of the committees, which will change the leadership and shift both the priorities and the focuses of the committees. Committee assignments and leadership elections are typically held in the weeks after Congress swears in. NAHRO will provide full committee information once it’s available.

Despite the lower amount of turnover in the House, retirements from the Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Subcommittee will bring big changes to the subcommittee in the 114th Congress. The retirement of Chairman Tom Latham (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.) will open up both leadership positions on the subcommittee. Given the retirement of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), the T-HUD subcommittee will see a 27 percent turnover rate.

Before the new Congress takes office, the current Congress still has an agenda to complete. All members, including those voted out of office or those who are retiring, will return to Washington next week to address legislative items that need to be resolved before the 113th Congress adjourns for the last time. This is commonly referred to as the “lame duck” session. NAHRO anticipates two high-priority items to at least be considered during the lame duck session: FY 2015 appropriations and tax extenders.

The current continuing resolution expires on December 11, forcing Congress to deal with spending during the lame duck. There appears to be a high level of optimism that Congress can pass an omnibus spending package rather than deferring yet again to a continuing resolution. Legislators also appear hopeful that a tax extenders package can finally be passed; many tax credits expired at the end of the 2013 calendar year, including the fixed rate Low Income Housing Tax Credits. A deal appears to be in the works to extend these credits.

Time is limited to deal with these issues, though. Congress will have only a few weeks to pass these major legislative items. NAHRO is planning several advocacy efforts on the omnibus and tax extenders, including a three-day push for an omnibus bill that includes funding T-HUD at Senate levels beginning on Tuesday, November 18.

The NAHRO Congressional Relations team has recorded a webinar detailing everything you need to know about the impact of the election and actions you can take during the lame duck session. To view the webinar, visit NAHRO’s YouTube page. 

Action Alert: Sign On to Support the Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Sign on letter

The ACTION Campaign (of which NAHRO is an active Steering Committee member) is calling on Congress to extend the minimum 9 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) rate for new construction and substantial rehabilitation and establish a minimum 4 percent rate for the acquisition of affordable housing before it adjourns for the year. The deadline for signing on to the letter has been extended to Friday, November 7.

When Congress returns next week, it will consider extensions of dozens of expired tax provisions, including minimum Housing Credit rates. While NAHRO and the ACTION Campaign believe the minimum 9 and 4 percent LIHTC rates should be made permanent, a temporary extension of these provisions for at least two years will still significantly strengthen the LIHTC at virtually no additional cost to taxpayers. The sign-on letter urges Congress to make these critical changes as soon as possible.

full list of ACTION Campaign members will be included in the final letter to Congress.  NAHRO encourages members to share the letter with housing authorities and redevelopment agencies in your area to help show broad support nationwide for minimum Housing Credit rates.

We also encourage NAHRO members who are active on social media to tweet on Twitter or post on Facebook to share when your organization has signed on to the letter and reshare the sign-on letter link. Use the hashtag #TaxCreditTuesday in your posts and tweets.

NAHRO Wants Your LIHTC Success Stories

NAHRO has been sharing its members LIHTC success stories both online, at the NAHRO on the Hill blog, and in print via theJournal of Housing and Community Development. If your organization has a successful LIHTC project, please let us know by contacting Emily Pasi at epasi@nahro.org.