Support Gap Financing for Affordable Housing
The House is currently working on its proposed budget for the fiscal years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. Last month the Senate passed their version turning the work over to the House. The Senate budget proposal contained multiple potentially harmful policy provisions related to housing programs, including the allocation process for North Carolina’s share of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), the Homeowner Assistance Fund ($273 million from ARP), and the operations of the NC Housing Finance Agency. In terms of funding, the Senate budget includes $40 million for the Workforce Housing Loan Program (WHLP) while leaving other housing programs at their current funding levels.
For housing issues, the House budget proposal is expected to differ from the Senate’s in positive ways. On the policy front, we are hearing that the House will be stripping the aforementioned policy provisions. Additionally, the biggest change that the House is considering is to allocate $200 million of ARP funds to provide gap financing to LIHTC developments facing significant budget shortfalls due to dramatic cost increases resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
While this is great news for those affordable housing developments at-risk, this provision is tentative at this moment. It is vital that House members hear from affordable housing stakeholders about the importance of this gap financing. In particular, Speaker Tim Moore and House Appropriations chairs need to hear from constituents.