Today at the Nyer Urness House in Ballard, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) called on Congress to act on a key tax credit bill before adjourning. The bill contains the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, which supports 290 construction jobs at Seattle's Nyer Urness House in Ballard. Over the last three years, this credit has supported 4,393 jobs across Washington state.
"Congress must get this bill done before adjourning," said Cantwell. "This key housing tax credit has supported thousands of jobs across Washington state and 95,000 across the country. Congress must get this bill done to support the continued development of housing that creates jobs and helps meet the demand for affordable homes in our communities."
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit helps finance 90 percent of affordable housing projects in the United States. Since the program was created in 1986, it has helped finance more than 2.4 million affordable apartments nationwide, including nearly 52,000 in Washington, and has created 95,000 jobs annually -- many of which are in the small business sector. Last August Cantwell participated in a Tacoma forum on continuing the development of affordable housing in Washington state.
The Nyer Urness House will receive a total of $1.4 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits each year over 10 years, which helped generate $11 million in private equity for the project. If Congress doesn't act, the tax credit's fixed rate for projects will revert to a variable rate. The variable rate will make it more difficult for projects like Nyer Urness House to secure necessary financing and could cause a slowdown in future affordable housing construction projects.
The ability to utilize the Low Income Housing Tax Credit's fixed rate is included in The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act. On August 2, Cantwell and other members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance moved to advance the bill with a 19-5 vote. The bill is currently pending consideration by the full Senate.
The Nyer Urness House will provide permanent, affordable housing for homeless individuals dealing with mental, physical, social, and substance abuse issues. The building will consist of 80 units with case managers and medical staff onsite.
The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act also extends key tax credits and deductions championed by Cantwell, including tax credits for hiring veterans, deductions for state and local sales taxes, producing clean energy, and investing in research and development.