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Policy Highlight: The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act

Proposed incentive would allow for affordable single-family unit rehab & development
9.26.2019

In the late 1980s, Congress passed a program known as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). In the intervening 30 years, this tax credit has proved to be indispensable in the development of affordable multi-family units across the country. On the other hand, LIHTC has not been as adept at solving the need for the renovation, rehabilitation, and development of single-family properties in neighborhoods hardest hit by disinvestment.

In June 2019, Reps. Brian Higgins (D-NY) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduction H.R. 3316, the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA), to Congress. This legislation is currently under review by the House Committee on Ways and Means. See more information below from our friends at the Neighborhood Homes Coalition:

“The NHIA would revitalize distressed urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods with federal income tax credits, mobilizing private investment to build and substantially rehabilitate 500,000 homes for moderate- and middle-income homeowners over the next decade.

Every state has neighborhoods where the homes are in poor condition and the property values are too low to support new construction or substantial renovation. The lack of move-in ready homes makes it difficult to attract or retain homebuyers, causing property values to decline. The NHIA would break this downward spiral by bridging the gap between the cost of building or renovating homes and the price at which they can be sold, thus making renovation and new home construction possible. The NHIA would also help existing homeowners in these neighborhoods rehabilitate their homes.

No current tax incentive meets this need. The NHIA is based on the successful Low Income Housing Tax Credit and New Markets Tax Credit, which support affordable rental housing and economic development, respectively, but are not designed to build or rehabilitate owner-occupied homes. Similarly, Opportunity Zones will support long-term business and real estate investment but not homeownership. Tax-exempt mortgage bonds and mortgage credit certificates assist homeowners by reducing mortgage payments, but they cannot cover the development financing gap. NHIA would complement these other incentives, not duplicate them.

NHIA Home Financing Example:

Property Acquisition - $50,000

+ Construction or rehab - $150,000

= Total development cost = $200,000

Less: Sales price - $160,000

NHIA tax credit = value gap of $40,000

 

Estimated Impact over 10 Years:

Based on the financing example above and assuming 50% of the NHIA tax credits come from the conversion or private activity bond cap, the impact over 10 years would include:

 

For more information on the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, go to the Neighborhood Homes Coalition website at https://neighborhoodhomesinvestmentact.org/.