Make Room’s president and CEO Ali Solis is thrilled with the passage of the Omnibus FY 2018 funding bill after making huge strides in advocating for expanding resources to make homes more affordable alongside many others in the affordable housing industry.
“We work extremely hard to advocate for policy solutions that will help achieve our goals of ending the rental housing affordability crisis in our nation,” said Solis. “The omnibus FY 2018 spending bill is a huge win for the 25 million people living without access to homes that are affordable. It also underscores the importance of and the power of working together as an industry.”
Make Room proudly worked with the ACTION Campaign, a coalition of over 2,150 national, state, and local organizations and businesses working to address our nation’s severe shortage of affordable rental housing to ensure that two key provisions to strengthen and expand the Housing Credit were included in this landmark legislation:
- A 12.5 percent increase in Housing Credit allocation, effective for four years (2018-2021), and;
- A provision authorizing income averaging in Housing Credit properties, on a permanent basis upon enactment of this bill. Income averaging would allow Housing Credit units to serve households earning up to 80 percent of area median income (AMI), offset by deeper targeting in other units to maintain average affordability in the development at 60 percent AMI. The 60 percent AMI ceiling would apply to the average income limit for all apartments in a development rather than each individual Housing Credit apartment.
“Make Room is especially thankful for bipartisan leadership of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act’s lead sponsors, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and House Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA), without whom this major victory would not have been possible,” Solis added.
In addition to these important tax provisions, the bill includes increased funding for critical housing programs: $1.36 billion for the HOME program, $3.3 billion for the CDBG program, $11.5 billion in Project-Based Rental Assistance, $22.015 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, $40 million for Section 515 USDA Rental Housing Direct Loans and $1.345 billion for Section 521 USDA Rental Assistance.
“These are critical programs that need adequate funding to make a real impact in addressing this hidden and silent crisis of housing affordability across the country,” Solis said. “This legislation is an important first step in assisting millions of American families in having safe and affordable homes.”
About Make Room, Inc.
Make Room, the nation’s leading organization working to address the rental housing crisis in America, gives voice to struggling renters and seeks to elevate affordable rental housing on the national agenda. We’re advocating for better policies and telling the stories of real families who can’t make rent today.