For Immediate Release - October 26, 2016

Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Thirty Years of Affordable Housing Tax Credits in Massachusetts

Secretary Jay Ash and Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay joined legislators, developers and housing advocates to celebrate 30th anniversary of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program.

Boston – October 26, 2016 – The Baker-Polito Administration recently celebrated the nation’s commitment to affordable housing at a celebration for the 30th anniversary of the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. LIHTC provides affordable housing developers a powerful tool to raise capital for the construction, acquisition or substantial rehabilitation of rental housing for low-income communities. Today, there are more than nine million Americans living in units across America that were created through this program.

Massachusetts is one of just 15 states that also created a state companion program that awards state tax credits to deserving affordable housing projects, in addition to federal tax credits. Since the LIHTC program’s inception, Massachusetts has benefited from the creation or preservation of over 800 multi-family rental housing projects, which translate to over 66,000 units of housing. The LIHTC program also places particular emphasis on serving individuals and households with extremely low incomes, and at-risk communities, including homeless veterans, homeless families, persons with disabilities, seniors and others.

“Our administration continues its commitment to the expansion of housing options for families across the income spectrum,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are creating new tools to fund affordable housing, incentivizing smart growth, and assisting communities in planning for housing growth. The low-income housing tax credit remains a crucial part of our affordable housing strategy, and we are thankful for this program’s long history in the Commonwealth.”

“Massachusetts is unique in our sustained dedication to funding affordable housing,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Ensuring access to housing that families can afford is essential to maintaining the vibrancy of our cities and towns, keeping communities strong and welcoming.”

The Baker-Polito Administration is dedicated to the creation of new housing across income ranges, which is evidenced by the use of LIHTC to create new housing opportunities for homeless families and individuals, as well as significant new capital investments in housing production and preservation, the administration’s new $100 million workforce housing initiative, and new housing development tools for municipalities and developers.

Most recently, the administration unveiled a new program to help local housing authorities leverage their existing assets to attract private funds for rehabilitation and capital construction costs, the Partnership to Expand Housing Opportunities.

In August, the administration signed a new economic development law, An Act Relative to Job Creation and Workforce Development, which includes new funding for smart growth housing incentives, new starter home zoning incentives, and reforms to a local tax incentive program supporting affordable and workforce housing development. The economic development legislation also includes a new $500 million authorization for the MassWorks infrastructure program. Last year, MassWorks grants unlocked the construction of more than 1,200 new housing units across Massachusetts, and advanced LIHTC-funded affordable housing developments in East Boston, Fitchburg, and Holyoke.

“The strength of our economy, and of our Commonwealth, depends on our ability to house all of our residents,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Without affordable housing, our working families are too often forced to move or spend more than they can should on housing costs, depleting our workforce and preventing better long-term outcomes for our families and their future. Together with our partners in the Legislature, we are working to ensure that the Commonwealth remains an affordable place to live, work, and raise a family.”

“For 30 years, LIHTC has been an invaluable tool for states and developers to pursue common goals of affordable housing,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay. “Massachusetts is one of few states that has created a matching state level program, and I’m am proud to be part of an administration that takes the needs of our working families seriously and has taken significant actions to expand housing options for all our communities.”

“The housing crisis in Massachusetts can be largely attributed to a lack of affordable housing stock,” said Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. The Low Income Housing Tax Credit is designed to address the housing crisis by leveraging federal dollars to provide developers with resources to preserve and create affordable housing properties. I am proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of LIHTC and how its led to thousands of units of affordable housing. As Chair of the Senate Committee on Housing and Intergovernmental Affairs, I will continue to work with our federal government, housing advocates and the Baker-Polito Administration to bolster the state's efforts to develop more affordable housing opportunities,” concluded Senator Forry.

“I am proud of our efforts in the Commonwealth as we stand together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit,” said Representative Kevin G. Honan, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing. “Housing is the backbone of a strong economy and programs like LIHTC and the State Low Income Housing Tax Credit have allowed for the production and preservation of affordable housing for tens of thousands of working families. As housing costs continue to burden so many families in Massachusetts, I am confident that the legislature and our partners in the Baker Administration will continue to work with housing advocates on solutions that will confront this state’s housing affordability crisis and ensure that our economy continues to grow for everyone.”

The Baker-Polito Administration is deeply committed to the development of affordable housing. In May, the administration unveiled a 5-year capital budget plan that includes a $1.1 billion commitment to increasing housing production, an 18 percent funding increase for mixed-income housing production, and affordable housing preservation. In May, the Administration and MassHousing committed $100 million, to support the construction of 1,000 new workforce housing units. Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has provided funding to create and preserve 2,856 units of affordable housing, including 874 deeply affordable units for at-risk populations.

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