Welch champions legislation to strengthen Housing Credit program

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

miro,welch,sarah,Congressman Peter Welch visited Bobbin Mill Apartments, an affordable housing renovation project in Burlington, Friday to highlight his legislation (H.R. 4717) to improve the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and stimulate the development and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing in Vermont.  Welch was joined by Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, VHFA’s Executive Director Sarah Carpenter and other leaders from Vermont’s affordable housing community.

“Every Vermonter should have the peace of mind that comes with safe and affordable housing,” said Welch. “The Low Income Housing Tax Credit has been a critical tool in financing the development of affordable housing in Vermont and across the country.  While the credit has worked well, it needs to be updated to provide more predictability to housing agencies and developers.”

“The Low Income Housing Tax Credit program is the largest affordable housing capital source we have available,” said Sarah Carpenter of VHFA which administers the tax credit. “Under current complex tax rules, these credits provide an estimated $23 million dollars in private equity to build and renovate affordable housing, like the Bobbin Mill Apartments.  HR 4717 improves the operation of the tax credits to provide predictability to developers and investors and could provide over a 20 percent increase in the equity available for much needed housing.  Any increase will reduce the strain on the other limited and diminishing housing resources.  If this legislation had been in place when Bobbin Mill was completed, it would have resulted in an additional $1.4 million in tax credit equity investment and relieved pressure on city and state resources.”

Read the full press release or check more photos from the press conference on VHFA's Facebook page.

Pictured:  Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, Congressman Peter Welch, and VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter.  Photo by Ann Marie Plank.