“Dear Colleague” letters are a common tool used by members of a legislative body in order to influence the recipient’s votes on an issue. They are a short yet official type of correspondence.
H.R. 1661 is bipartisan legislation that would strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Representative Curbelo is one of the bill’s original sponsors but took the role of lead sponsor when former Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) left Congress in January.
The letter states that “the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) has become our nation’s most successful tool for building and preserving affordable rental housing. By providing an incentive for private sector investment, the Housing Credit has financed roughly three million rental homes for low-income families, seniors, veterans, and those with special needs.”
“It is responsible for nearly all of the new affordable housing development in the country today.”
The letter explains that the new bill would “make the Housing Credit more flexible, simplify program requirements, support the preservation of existing affordable housing, facilitate Housing Credit development in challenging markets and for hard-to-reach populations, and institute other modifications to make the Credit an even more effective program.”
Several organizations and advocates, such as Enterprise Community Partners, are encouraging affordable housing stakeholders to read the “Dear Colleague Letter” and share it with colleagues and representatives.
On July 25th, a Congressional Reception will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey Residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that Opportunity Starts at Home.