Senators push for housing kids pays off

first_imgWashington Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray secured funding provisions in the $1.3 trillion spending package working its way through Congress. The bill was approved by the House on Thursday.Cantwell worked on a provision to increase the Low Income Housing Tax Credit by 12.5 percent.“This is the first increase in over a decade,” Cantwell, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Nearly $3 billion is a good start towards tackling the housing crisis in our cities and rural communities. The increase couldn’t come at a better time. This down payment will help us deal with the tremendous deficit we have in affordable housing.”The program gives state and local agencies the authority to issue tax credits for acquiring, rehabilitating and constructing affordable housing. Given the current affordable housing crisis, the tax credit is considered vital by low-income housing agencies.Nationwide, the housing shortage has grown to 7.2 million rental homes from 4.4 million in 2000, according to a study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. In Washington, the shortage is growing faster than the national average. Median rents have increased 7.6 percent in the last 18 years compared with 5.1 percent nationally.“Sen. Cantwell’s legislation provision is a very welcome boost to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit,” said Kim Herman, executive director of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, in a statement. “She is the most effective champion for affordable housing in Congress, and we are so grateful that she has continued to fight for Washington households who are struggling with housing costs.”last_img read more