Oppose the Middle Income Housing Tax Credit Act

Senators Booker and Menendez Asked Not to Cosponsor Middle Income Housing Tax Credit Act of 2016

On September 22, 2016, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced draft legislation to create a new tax credit to incentivize developers to build and preserve housing that is affordable to middle income families earning the Area Median Income (AMI). Senator Wyden circulated a Dear Colleague letter, urging Senators to cosponsor his bill.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition opposes this bill.

Please contact Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker and ask them to oppose Senator Wyden’s draft legislation and NOT become a cosponsor.

Tell them that Congress should increase affordable housing resources for those with the greatest needs, not higher-income families.

New Jersey currently faces a serve shortage of affordable and available rental units. For every 100 extremely low income renters, there are only 31 affordable and available apartments. And for very 100 very low income renters, there are only 42 affordable apartments.

In New Jersey,

  • 87% of extremely low renters are cost burdened by their rent and
  • 83% of very low income renters are cost burdened by their rent.
  • 75% of extremely low income renters face severe cost burdens from rent and
  • 47% of very low income renters face severed cost burdens from rent.

Extremely low income households have an income at or below 30% of the area median income defined as the median family income in the area. Very low income households have incomes between 30% and 50% area median income.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is pleased to have Senator Ron Wyden prioritizing solutions to the affordable housing crisis, but feels that his proposed Middle Income Housing Tax Credit program would be a misguided and wasteful use of federal resources.

NLIHC strongly believes that any new federal housing resource should be targeted to serve those with the greatest, clearest needs—families with extremely low incomes. Instead, Senator Wyden’s bill would serve families who, the data show, do not face significant housing challenges.

NLIHC’s recent report found that just 2% of middle-income renters nationwide are severely cost burdened, compared with 75% of the poorest renters who pay more than half their income towards their rent. These households include seniors, people with disabilities and families with children who struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

A sample script of what you email to Senator Booker and Senator Menedez’s housing staffers is below:

“I am [title] of [organization] based in [city, state]. Senator Wyden recently introduced draft legislation to create a new tax credit program to incentivize developers to build housing for families who earn the median income. I am calling to encourage the Senator to oppose this legislation and NOT become a cosponsor.

While we are pleased to have Senator Ron Wyden prioritizing solutions to the affordable housing crisis, his proposed Middle Income Housing Tax Credit program would be a misguided and wasteful use of federal resources. We strongly believe that any new federal housing program should be aimed to helping those families with the greatest needs—extremely low-income families. Instead, Senator Wyden’s bill would serve families who, the data show, do not face significant housing challenges. Just 2% of middle-income renters nationwide are severely cost burdened, compared with 75% of the poorest renters who pay more than half their income towards their rent.

There is overwhelming evidence that the need for affordable housing is primarily concentrated among extremely low-income families in our state and across the nation. Please oppose the Wyden bill and help ensure that critical resources go to those with the greatest needs. Thank you.”

NLIHC Statement on Wyden Bill

Congressional Contacts

State Affordable Housing Needs

For more information click here to email NLIHC

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