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NLIHC Statement on Rent Cap in LIHTC Properties

Washington, D.C. – The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) applauds the Biden-Harris administration’s decision to limit rent increases in rental properties financed with federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) as a critical measure to ensure greater housing stability for the millions of low-income households living in these homes.

“The decision to prevent egregious rent increases is an important win for the millions of renters living in tax credit-financed properties,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “The Biden-Harris administration is clearly listening to and centering the needs of renters in a way not seen with past administrations.”

Under the LIHTC program, rents can increase annually by five percent or double the percentage change in national median income, whichever is higher. The decision by the Biden-Harris administration would limit such rent increases to no more than 10 percent, regardless of the median income change.

The Biden-Harris administration has done more than any other administration in recent history to call for and take meaningful action to protect renters from egregious rent increases and other unfair practices by landlords. In his State of the Union address, President Biden pledged to combat egregious rent increases and other unfair practices that are driving up rents and to stop landlords from charging junk fees. The administration’s Blueprint for a Renters’ Bill of Rights included commitments from key agencies, including the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Federal Trade Commission to advance renter protections.

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is the nation’s primary source of financing for the construction and preservation of affordable rental housing, but apartments built with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit are typically too expensive for extremely low-income households to afford. The majority (58%) of extremely low-income renters living in developments financed with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit who do not receive additional support through rental assistance are severely cost-burdened, paying more than half their limited income on rent. Despite living in federally financed affordable housing, these households are often one emergency or unexpected expense away from the risk of homelessness.

To ensure greater affordability for the renters who live in tax credit-financed homes, the Biden administration and Congress should ensure that any expansion of the tax credit – including in the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 – is paired with much-needed reforms to better serve households with the greatest needs.

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