House Republicans Release Tax Package, NY Advocates Call for Reforming Rent Regulation Laws
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- Last night House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released tax legislation that would renew expired tax provisions, make technical fixes to last year's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, provide incentives for retirement savings, and offer tax relief for natural disaster victims. The tax package also includes a relevant reference to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) that clarifies the exemption for veterans from the Housing Credit general public use rule and aligns the multifamily Housing Bond program’s general public use requirement with the Housing Credit’s general public use requirement. The legislative outlook of this opening bid from House Republicans is unclear — there is limited legislative time remaining and Congress will likely prioritize finalizing fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations before the current continuing resolution funding many government functions expires on December 7. (Reuters, November 26) Stay tuned to our blog for more information about the outlook for this proposed tax bill.
- In an op-ed, Enterprise’s Vice President and New York Market Leader Jude Kende, the New York State Association for Affordable Housing‘s Jolie Milstein, and the Legal Aid Society‘s Judith Goldiner, urge New York Legislators to adopt specific rent regulation reforms before the state’s rent stabilization laws expire in June 2019. These reforms are: 1) ending the high-rent vacancy decontrol, which allows landlords to take apartments out of rent stabilization after they reach the threshold of $2,733 per month, 2) restoring protections for tenants receiving preferential rent, and 3) reforming the vacancy allowance, which enables landlords to hike rents by 20 percent every time a tenant leaves, and other rent increase mechanisms. The authors point out that the state cannot afford to lose more apartments within reach of low- and moderate-income families, noting that about a third of New York’s 2.5 million rent-stabilized tenants already pay more than half their income in rent. (New York Daily News, November 26)
- The federal government’s Fourth National Climate Assessment finds that climate change will hit low-income communities the hardest. The report points out that existing inequalities, such as higher rates of health conditions and larger exposure to pollution and environmental hazards, will be exacerbated due to climate change. It also notes that low-income populations generally have less access to information, resources, institutions, and other factors that could help them prepare for and avoid the health risks of climate change, leaving them especially vulnerable. Finally, the report calls for government officials to engage with low-income communities when planning and developing solutions for climate change challenges. (CNBC, November 26)
- An article in PoliticoPro notes that lawmakers will have to agree on a plan to extend the National Flood Insurance Program before it expires this Friday, November 30. It points out that options under discussion in the House include extending the current program for a week to buy time for attaching longer extension to either the appropriations legislation or continuing resolution that must be passed by December 7 to avoid a government shutdown. Another option under discussion in the Senate is to reauthorize the program through May 31, just before the start of the hurricane season. This issue is expected to be taken up next year by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the likely chairwoman of the Financial Services panel and who has played a leading role in past flood insurance legislation, including the 2012 reauthorization and a 2014 law that delayed premium increases. (PoliticoPro, November 26)
- On Thursday, December 6, Enterprise will hold a webinar to discuss ways to include creative placemaking in development timelines and budgets. This webinar, which will break down the budgets of creative placemaking projects to explore how arts and culture were paid for and phased, will feature Mark Matel, program director of the Rose Fellowship at Enterprise Community Partners, and Annie Ledbury, architect and creative placemaking manager at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation. Register here for the webinar.