UPDATE: The House passed the Inflation Reduction Act on August 12 and President Biden signed it into law August 16, marking one of the most substantive climate actions in the U.S. legislative history. The law provides $369 billion for investments in climate resilience and energy security programs.

The Senate’s razor-thin approval this Sunday of the Inflation Reduction Act – a much-diminished version of the president and congressional Democratic leadership’s vision for a comprehensive social policy bill – included a bevy of climate and tax changes that will mark one of the most substantive climate bills in recent memory, with $369 billion provided for investments in climate resilience and energy security programs. 

While the legislation doesn’t focus on housing, the legislative package includes a number of housing-related provisions that, when taken together, can help make homes and communities more green, more affordable, and more climate resilient for the future:

  • $1 billion for a HUD-led grant program to improve energy and water efficiency of eligible affordable housing 
  • $9 billion in consumer home energy rebate programs to make energy efficiency and electrification retrofits, focused on low-income consumers
  • $3 billion in Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grants to address disproportionate environmental and public health harms related to pollution and climate change 
  • $1 billion to incentivize states and localities to adopt and implement energy codes that meet or exceed the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code
  • Changes to ensure that energy credits do not negatively impact the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) basis

As a part of the tax provisions proposed to raise revenue, the legislation would implement a 15 percent minimum tax rate on book income for businesses earning over $1 billion in revenue. The book income tax in the Inflation Reduction Act draws from provision in the previous Build Back Better proposal and would still allow general business credits, such as the Housing Credit and New Markets Tax Credit, to be taken against that minimum rate.  

Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Biden have indicated their support for the bill. The House Rules Committee is set to meet Wednesday to advance the Senate-passed legislation for the floor for a vote by Friday.

Enterprise commends the Senate for passing historic investments to build our nation’s resilience and urges the House to quickly approve the legislation to address the intensifying climate threats, improve the energy efficiency of affordable housing and reduce energy costs for low-income consumers.