Bennet Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Bill to Create a Tax Credit to Increase Housing Supply and Revitalize Distressed Homes

Legislation Would Help Cover the Cost of Building or Renovating Homes, Help Existing Homeowners Stay in Their Homes

Washington, D.C. –– Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, co-sponsored legislation led by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to build and revitalize housing in distressed neighborhoods in Colorado and across the country. Currently, private development is lacking in some urban and rural areas because the cost of purchasing and renovating homes is greater than the value of the sale price of homes. The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA) would create a federal tax credit to bridge the gap between the cost of building or renovating a home in these areas and the price at which they can be sold. The NHIA would also help existing homeowners in these neighborhoods to renovate and stay in their homes.

“Lack of affordable housing is affecting every part of our state, from Denver to our mountain towns,” said Bennet. “Our legislation would invest in our communities to help address this crisis and boost the supply of affordable housing, reinvigorating neighborhoods across Colorado and ensuring families can stay in their homes.”

“At Habitat for Humanity, we believe all families deserve a safe, decent and affordable place to live,” said Heather Lafferty, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.  “It is imperative that we deploy a wide range of resources to make affordable homeownership available to essential workers in our communities.  Habitat for Humanity applauds Senator Bennet for supporting the bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, an important tool which will enable community revitalization and help more families achieve homeownership.”

“We appreciate Senator Bennet’s commitment to seek solutions to the crisis of inadequate housing supply, especially in his leadership with Senators Cardin and Portman in co-sponsoring the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act.  Over the years Total Concept has built and rehabilitated over 1,000 homes for families in these rural areas. NHIA would help be a catalyst to spur additional private-public partnerships to address the need of affordable housing in Colorado and across the nation,” said Steven Cordova, Executive Director of Total Concept. Total Concept is a nonprofit organization serving families with a broad range of housing services in rural and southeastern Colorado.

“In 2021, a Housing Needs Assessment was completed for the San Luis Valley in Colorado (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache Counties). The HNA showed that two common threads in this area are lack of new construction at affordable sale prices for the low-moderate income households and the need to rehabilitate abandoned or uninhabitable homes that are being lived in by households in generational poverty. The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act would bring much needed investment to the small rural communities that are in desperate need of affordable housing funds. These funds would help fill the gap of over 1,800 housing units needed over the next 5 years. We are in support of S.98 and all it can do for affordable housing in Colorado and beyond,” said Dawn Melgares, Executive Director, San Luis Valley Housing Coalition.

The NHIA could lead to the revitalization of 500,000 homes and create $100 billion in development revenue over the next 10 years. About 22% of metro areas nationwide and 25% of non-metro areas would qualify for NHIA investments. The NHIA would target neighborhoods that have poverty rates 130% or greater than the metro or state rate; have incomes that are 80% or less than area median income; and have home values that are below the metro or state median value. The NHIA would require that homes constructed or revitalized under the program be sold to homeowners making less than 140% of the area median income. This ensures that improved housing directly benefits members of the communities targeted by the new tax credit. 

Investors, not the government, would bear the risk, because credits would be received only after rehabilitation is completed and the property is occupied by an eligible homeowner. The Treasury Department would be required to provide an annual report on the performance of the program.

The maximum credit amount would be the lesser of 35% of total development costs (property acquisition plus construction and/or rehabilitation cost) or 80% of the national median home sale price. NHIA tax credits would be awarded to project sponsors—developers, lenders, or local governments—through a competitive statewide application process administered by each state’s housing finance agency. Sponsors would use the credits to raise investment capital for their projects, and the investors could claim the credits against their federal income tax when the homes are sold and occupied by eligible homebuyers. State agencies would have an annual allocation of either $6 per capita or $8 million, whichever is higher.

The bill text is available HERE. A list of which Colorado communities would qualify under the NHIA is available HERE.

The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA) is supported by the following organizations: Center for Community Progress; Enterprise Community Partners; Habitat for Humanity International; Home by Hand; Housing Assistance Council; Housing Partnership Network; Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Low Income Investment Fund; Mortgage Bankers Association; National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders; National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations; National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals; National Association of Realtors; National Association of Real Estate Brokers; National Association of State and Local Equity Funds; National Association of the Remodeling Industry; National Council of State Housing Agencies; National Community Stabilization Trust; National Fair Housing Alliance; National Housing Conference; National NeighborWorks Association; Prosperity Now; Quicken Loans; Structured Finance Association; and Up for Growth Action.