Current Legislative & Regulatory Efforts

NALHFA is your voice on regulatory and legislative issues. As the industry faces a broad range of challenges and potentially harmful regulations, we remain committed to advocating on behalf of our members. Our legislative and regulatory priorities below showcase what we are fighting for and how we are addressing these challenges.

NALHFA also strives to educate our members on the legislative and regulatory issues impacting the industry so you can stay informed and be a part of the conversation.

Capitol Hill

2022 Legislative and Regulatory Policy Priorities

The National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA), founded in 1982, is the national association of professionals working to finance affordable housing in the broader community development context at the local level. As a non-profit association, NALHFA is an advocate before Congress and federal agencies on legislative and regulatory issues affecting affordable housing and provides technical assistance and educational opportunities to its members and the public. On behalf of our members, NALHFA concentrates 2022 advocacy activities on key federal affordable housing and development programs listed below. The list is not exhaustive, as other issues are likely to arise, and NALHFA is proactive and reactive to these as needed to support the industry.

Increasing the Cap on Private Activity Tax-Exempt Bonds:

Private Activity Tax Exempt Bonds (PABs) generate 4 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (Housing Credits), which finance approximately 50 percent of all Housing Credit developments. PABs are a critical affordable housing resource, leveraging private and public resources, creating tens of thousands of jobs, and facilitating the creation of millions of low-income homes. Currently, the cap PABs is a major limiting factor for a growing number of states and localities as they seek to preserve existing affordable and public housing and create new housing to meet the growing need. Increasing the cap on PABs for affordable and public housing would help create a public good and support the country’s continuously growing housing infrastructure needs.

PRIORITY: In 2022, NALHFA will work to increase the cap on PABs for affordable and public housing activities. This straightforward solution will promote the creation and preservation of rental homes, support job creation and spur economic activity using an effective and established affordable housing tool.

Enhancing Low Income Housing Tax Credits (Housing Credit):

The Housing Credit is the most successful tool available for incentivizing private investment in the production and preservation of affordable housing. The Housing Credit is structured to allow investors in the private sector to provide equity capital in exchange for a credit against their tax liability. Since it was established in 1986, the Housing Credit has financed over 2.8 million homes for 6.5 million low-income families and generated $100 Billion in private investment in communities nationwide. Every year, the Housing Credit supports more than 90,000 affordable homes and nearly 100,000 jobs every year.

PRIORITY: In 2022, NALHFA will urge Congress and the Administration to take action on additional improvements and funding for the Housing Credit, which will allow for the creation and preservation of hundreds of thousands of affordable homes over the next ten years and provide much needed resources to NALHFA 2022 Legislative and Regulatory Priorities combat the nationwide shortage of affordable housing. NALHFA is strongly supporting the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA), including that language as part of the budget reconciliation process.

Enact Fair Housing Policies:

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 requires HUD grantees to promote fair housing and equal opportunity. The law not only prohibits discrimination, it also directs HUD program participants to take significant actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, achieve truly balanced and integrated living patterns, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination.

In July 2015, HUD published its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Final Rule. The rule was developed in response to recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and stakeholders that HUD enhance its fair housing planning obligations. Prior to this rule, HUD directed participants to affirmatively further fair housing by undertaking an analysis of impediments (AI) that was generally not submitted to or reviewed by HUD. This approach required program participants, based on general guidance from HUD, to identify impediments to fair housing choice within their jurisdiction, plan, and take appropriate actions to overcome the effects of any impediments, and maintain records of such efforts. HUD’s AFFH rule requires grantees to analyze their local/regional fair housing landscape and establish fair housing priorities and goals through the completion of a new Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). The AFH planning process is intended to help communities analyze challenges to fair housing choice and establish their own goals and priorities to address the fair housing barriers in their community.

AFFH was eliminated in 2020 under previous leadership at HUD, however, in 2021 the Biden Administration issued an interim final rule on AFFH and plans to issue additional regulation and guidance moving forward.

PRIORITY: NALHFA will be working with the Biden Administration on implementing regulations and guidance on AFFH, along with other industry groups. NALHFA was pleased that the Biden Administration announced the reinstatement of AFFH, and the Disparate Impact Rule.

Restoring and Increasing HUD Funding:

Despite their proven track record, HUD’s affordable housing programs have been chronically underfunded. After years of cuts to HUD programs, low federal spending caps required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 further decreased funding for affordable housing and community development programs. This has only made it more difficult to ensure low income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and other vulnerable populations are stably housed. Today, of the families who qualify for housing assistance, only a quarter will get the help that they need.

Lowered or even level HUD funding threatens affordable housing and community development investments and could destabilize millions of low income families. More than 85% of HUD’s budget goes directly to renewing housing assistance already in place. When HUD’s resources are not fully funded, families may lose access to stable housing, putting them at increased risk of homelessness. HUD programs are critical to families, communities, and or economy, including HOME, housing choice vouchers, tenant protection vouchers, rental assistance, CDBG and others. Our country must continue to invest in these crucial programs.

PRIORITY: In 2022, NALHFA will be engaging the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to urge them to fund HUD at the levels needed to effectively carry out its responsibilities. With the Democrats controlling both committees, NALHFA expects adequate funding but staff and members will engage early to communicate the sense of urgency to fund HUD at effective levels. In addition, Congress is not limited by the Budget Control Act, allowing for an easier process to ensure robust federal funding for key programs.

For more information, contact the NALHFA team at 202-367-1197 or [email protected].