Skip to content

Heinrich Joins Legislation to Address Housing Affordability

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is cosponsoring the bipartisan Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, legislation introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), to help build over 14,000 new affordable homes in New Mexico over the next decade as many families struggle to find an affordable place to call home.

"We have a serious housing crisis in New Mexico. It demands real solutions that match the complexity and gravity of the situation,” said Heinrich. “I’m proud to join this bipartisan effort that confronts the growing need for affordable housing by updating and expanding the most effective tool we have for developing affordable housing: the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Every New Mexican deserves a safe and secure place to call home, and this legislation is an important step toward meeting that goal and investing in a better, more stable future for all.”

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would support the financing of more affordable housing by expanding and strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), our country’s most successful affordable housing program.

This bill comes at a time when our nationwide housing crisis continues to worsen. Currently, nearly one-in-four renters, over 10 million families, spend more than half of their household income on rent, cutting into other essential expenses like child care, medication, groceries, and transportation. At the same time, nearly 600,000 Americans are experiencing homelessness on any given day, an increase over pre-COVID levels.

Since its creation, the Housing Credit has built or restored more than 3.5 million affordable housing units, nearly 90 percent of all federally funded affordable housing during that time. Roughly eight million American households have benefitted from the credit, and the economic activity that it generated has supported 5.5 million jobs and spurred more than $617 billion in wages.

In New Mexico, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would provide an additional 14,600 affordable housing units, leading to an estimated 22,2000 more jobs and generating over $2.5 billion in wages and business income.

The bill would support the financing of new affordable homes in New Mexico and across the country by:

  • Increasing the amount of credits allocated to each state. The legislation would increase the number of credits available to states by 50 percent for the next two years and make the temporary 12.5 percent increase secured in 2018 permanent—which has already helped build more than 59,000 additional affordable housing units nationwide.
  • Increasing the number of affordable housing projects that can be built using private activity bonds. This provision would stabilize financing for workforce housing projects built using private activity bonds by decreasing the amount of private activity bonds needed to secure Housing Credit funding. As a result, projects would have to carry less debt, and more projects would be eligible to receive funding.
  • Improving the Housing Credit program to better serve at-risk and underserved communities. The legislation would also make improvements to the program to better serve veterans, victims of domestic violence, formerly homeless students, Tribal communities, and rural Americans.

U.S. Representatives Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) introduced a companion version of this bill in U.S. House of Representatives.

Earlier this month, Senator Heinrich introduced bicameral legislation to improve access to rental housing that could help more than 12,000 New Mexican families overcome the barrier of security deposit payments when moving into new housing. Find that legislation here.

A summary of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act can be found here. The text of the legislation can be found here.