What is A.C.T.I.O.N.?
Affordable Rental Housing A.C.T.I.O.N. (A Call To Invest in Our Neighborhoods) is a grassroots campaign led by a broad, cross-industry coalition of over 450 national, state, and local organizations.
Through advocacy and education efforts around the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), the A.C.T.I.O.N. campaign focuses on ensuring that low-income working families throughout the nation have access to decent, safe, affordable rental housing.
The mission of the A.C.T.I.O.N. campaign is to protect and preserve the Housing Credit as a means of providing a wide variety of affordable rental housing options to low- income working families in communities across the nation.
As the 113th Congress considers tax reform and deficit reduction solutions, the campaign has reconvened to revise its strategy in light of the changed political and fiscal environment. Moving forward, A.C.T.I.O.N. will focus on:
- Protecting and preserving the Housing Credit in
whatever deficit reduction or tax reform plan Congress considers, and
- Enacting national consensus proposals to sustain the program’s effectiveness and efficiency in solving the nation’s affordable rental housing challenges.
Why is A.C.T.I.O.N. Needed Now?
As tax reform and deficit reduction solutions are being considered, Congress may target tax expenditure programs (like the Housing Credit) as a means of raising revenue to pay down the national debt or lower tax rates. There is a clear national need for affordable rental homes (view the recent Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report), and with over 26 years of demonstrated success, the Housing Credit is the nation's most powerful tool that can be used to address this challenge.
Why is the Housing Credit Program Important?
The Housing Credit program – created as a provision of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 – is the most successful affordable rental housing production and preservation program in our nation’s history, creating 100,000 - 120,000 affordable homes annually. Over the past 25 years, the Housing Credit has helped to finance more than 2.5 million affordable rental homes by leveraging greater than $75 billion in private equity capital through public-private partnerships. This activity promotes the creation and retention of approximately 95,000 jobs annually - most of which are in the small business sector.
One of the keys to the program's success is the strong private sector discipline it elicits, which has resulted in tremendous property performance over a quarter century. According to CohnReznick, Housing Credit properties have an annualized foreclosure rate of 0.64% - a percentage far under comparable market rate properties. The Housing Credit program’s structure as part of the tax code—and not part of the domestic discretionary budget—is a critical element that has made it one of the most successful programs of all time. As a part of the tax code, private investors — NOT taxpayers —pay the penalty for the small number of properties that do not succeed through having to forfeit the tax credits incentives.
The production and rehabilitation of affordable rental homes is critical as the nation struggles with the increasing burden of housing costs. A recent Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report indicates there is only 11.6 million rental homes affordable and available to 18 million low-income renters- this represents an astounding unmet need of 6.4 million affordable homes. As the impact of the recent housing and economic crisis continues to be felt by an increasing population of low- and moderate-income Americans, it is imperative that the Housing Credit program remain in the tax code to help close this multimillion affordable housing supply gap.
History of A.C.T.I.O.N.
founded in 2009 by a broad cross-section of Housing Credit stakeholder
organizations in reaction to the recession and financial crisis that rapidly
and drastically affected Housing Credit investment. After holding a series of
discussions to determine a consensus strategy, the A.C.T.I.O.N. campaign was
able to present to Congress, in a unified voice, proposals to reinvigorate the
Housing Credit investment market. Fortunately, the market started to rebound in
2010 and now equity capital is available
throughout the country, proving that the Housing Credit program is an
attractive and viable investment program for producing and rehabilitating
Who Supports A.C.T.I.O.N.?
Over 450 national, state, and local organizations from every state in the nation, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico participate in the campaign as coalition members. The coalition is comprised of cross-industry organizations that work with the Housing Credit directly or through partners, and understand the program’s positive impact on affordable housing production, state and local economics, and job creation.
How You Can Promote A.C.T.I.O.N.
- Use our Advocacy Toolkit to find documents to help you advocate for affordable housing and the Housing Credit.
- Contact your members of Congress and urge them to protect the Housing Credit in tax reform and support legislation to make permament the minimum 9 and 4 percent credit floors.