Public Comments for 01/22/2021 Finance - Subcommittee #3
HB2050 - Virginia housing opportunity; tax credit established starting in taxable year 2021.
Last Name: Winters Organization: Alliance for Housing Solutions Locality: Arlington, VA

We strongly support the creation of a state housing tax credit to support affordable housing in Virginia. This is a tool used successfully in many other states that would be a valuable addition to our toolbox.

Last Name: Murphy Organization: Wesley Housing Locality: Alexandria

I am writing in support of HB2050. The creation of the Virginia Housing Opportunity Tax Credit will allow the Commonwealth of Virginia to attract additional equity to increase the supply of affordable housing. The need for affordable housing has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, with income levels expected to fall across the Commonwealth. The Virginia Housing Opportunity Tax Credit provides an additional tool that will drive new investment. The infrastructure to manage the program is already in place through Virginia Housing, one of the best managed and most highly regarding Housing Authorities in the country, and many other states already have similar programs in place. I support the creation and implementation of a State Housing Opportunity Tax Credit. Sincerely, Shelley S. Murphy President/CEO Wesley Housing

Last Name: Artze Organization: Local Initiatives Support Corporation Locality: Stafford

Good morning chair and members of the subcommittee, My name is Orlando Artze and I represent the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a nonprofit community development organization. I write in support of this bill because it would support the development of additional affordable housing especially for those of lowest income.

Last Name: Newman Organization: VCDC Locality: Richmond

Good morning Chair and Members of the Subcommittee-- The need for affordable housing is great and growing. Virginia needs as many tools as possible to finance the development of more quality housing that is affordable to lower income residents. The federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit has been the most effective tool on the federal level for raising private investment capital for this purpose. The Opportunity Credit proposed by this bill would be a very effective companion to this tool that would result in the creation of thousands of additional homes to provide Virginia families greater comfort, security and stability. I support this bill and urge you to vote in favor of it.

Last Name: Kelly Harris-Braxton Organization: Virginia First Cities Coalition Locality: City of Richmond

SUPPORT. The sixteen member cities of the Virginia First Cities Coalition (VFC) supports a Virginia housing opportunity tax credit that mirrors the federal tax credit to enable expanded affordable housing. We urge passage of Delegate Bourne's HB 2050 and Senator Locke's SB 1197 as soon as possible.

Last Name: Sutphin Organization: Community Housing Partners Locality: Blacksburg

Community Housing Partners (CHP), a Virginia-based nonprofit which has created affordable and sustainable homes across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic for 45 years, supports HB 2050. This bill will create the Virginia Housing Opportunity Tax Credit, a new tool to create homes that are available and affordable in our communities. Projected to add 800 affordable units each year across the Commonwealth, HB 2050 will help to address Virginia’s affordable housing crisis, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2020 Gap report, there are only 57 affordable units available for every 100 renters earning at or below 50% of the area median income in Virginia. This disparity increases even more for households earning 30% or less of the area median income. The Virginia Opportunity Tax Credit will supplement the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), one of the few effective tools organizations like CHP have to develop and rehabilitate homes affordable to low income households. Therefore, we encourage the committee to report the bill.

Last Name: Pedowitz Organization: Arlington Chamber of Commerce Locality: Arlington

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce supports HB 2050, a bill to create a Virginia Housing Opportunity Tax Credit. Addressing our housing affordability challenges will require a multi-faceted approach. The Chamber supports both efforts to increase the supply of housing and efforts to ensure access to safe and affordable housing options for our most vulnerable Virginians. The Virginia Housing Opportunity Tax Credit will supplement the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to attract more private investment into affordable homebuilding in the Commonwealth. We thus encourage the committee to report the bill.

End of Comments