Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to increase the supply of affordable rental housing available for middle-income seniors, who are ineligible to receive subsidized housing benefits that go to the lowest-income individuals. The Affordable Housing for Moderate-Income Seniors Act requires states receiving low-income housing tax credits from the federal government to provide additional credit points on their Qualified Action Plan criteria for developers who are able to build moderate-income housing for seniors.
"A lack of quality and affordable housing options for moderate-income senior citizens is a growing problem in many of our communities in the Inland Empire," said Rep. Baca. "I am glad to introduce this legislation, which provides a responsible pathway to increase the supply of rental housing available to seniors who may be struggling to get by - but have incomes that are too high to qualify for subsidized housing benefits."
The Affordable Housing for Moderate-Income Seniors Act amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by requiring states receiving low-income housing tax credits to provide additional tax deductions to developers that construct new moderate-income rental housing for seniors. The tax credit that developers would receive for these moderate-income developments will be the same as the tax credit developers currently receive for new low-income housing construction. This adjustment to the tax code would mark the first time in over 40 years there has been an incentive to build affordable rental housing solely for moderate-income families.
Rep. Baca's legislation also clarifies age and income requirements that must be met in order for individuals to be eligible to rent senior moderate-income housing units. Individuals must be 62 years of age or older, and they must have a household income no greater than 140% of their state's designated income eligibility limit for subsidized housing benefits.
"According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans over the age of 62 has more than doubled since 1990," concluded Rep. Baca. "After a lifetime of service to our country, seniors in the Inland Empire and across the nation deserve access to safe, affordable housing. By providing new tax incentives for developers, we can help create a larger supply of rental housing options for our seniors and at the same time provide a boost to our continuing economic recovery."