Attainable Housing Legislation

Legislative Updates

Links to relevant legislation

    • Colorado – 2022 Middle income Housing Act
    • Florida – Live local law passed in 2023 – Local municipalities cannot stop Affordable/attainable housing with zoning codes
    • Wisconsin – Loan program

        Press Release: Gov. Evers, WHEDA Announce New Programs Emerge from Historic Bipartisan Housing Legislation (

    • New York – Governor’s Budget

    • Maryland Housing

Federal Legislation

  • 3646 Workforce Housing Tax Credit Act (also same bill in House: H.R. 6686)

  • Democratic Sponsors: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR); Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-19)
  • Lead Republican Co-Sponsors: Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK); Rep. Mike Carey (R-OH-15)
  • Legislative Outlook (as of 1/19/24): Congressional sponsors looking towards 2025, or as part of an infrastructure bill reauthorization in 2026.
  • Summary: The Workforce Housing Tax Credit (WHTC) builds on the very successful Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program by providing additional tax credits that can be used to build affordable housing for tenants between 60% and 100% of area median income, or transferred to LIHTC for tenants generally below 60% of area median income.
  • Similar to LIHTC, state housing finance agencies allocate the tax credits to developers through a competitive process. The tax credits would be provided to developers over a 15-year period, with a 15-year compliance period and 30-year extended commitment.
  • Tax credits are allocated to states based on population. For 2024, the allocation would be $1 per capita with a $1.5 million small state minimum. An additional 5% of the allocation is made available and reserved for middle-income housing developed in rural areas.
  • For new buildings, the credit would equal 50% of the cost of the building over the lifetime of the credit. For rehabilitated buildings and bond-financed buildings, the credit would equal 20% of the cost of the building. More credit can be awarded for buildings in difficult development areas, as designated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, state housing agencies would only allocate the amount of credit needed to make a housing project financially feasible.
  • To qualify for the credit, at least 60% of the building’s units must be occupied by individuals with area median incomes of 100% or less where the rents are restricted to 30% of the designated income. The affordability restrictions would remain in place for up to 15 years after the compliance period (for a total 30-year affordability period).
  • WHTC also works in conjunction with LIHTC to support low-income affordable housing. First, a state can tailor the allocation to its needs: it can elect to transfer any portion of their middle-income allocation to LIHTC at any point during the year. Second, WHTC can help the financial feasibility of affordable buildings by combining LIHTC and middle-income housing tax credits for different units as long as at least 20% of the total units are middle-income units.
  • Supportive Organizations: National Multifamily Housing Council; American Seniors Housing Association; CCIM Institute; ICSC; Institute of Real Estate Management; Manufactured Housing Institute; Mortgage Bankers Association; National Affordable Housing Management Association; National Apartment Association; National Association of Home Builders; National Association of Realtors; National Leased Housing Association; The Real Estate Roundtable; Up for Growth Action
  • Opposing Organizations: Affordable housing coalitions. These groups believe until all affordable housing needs are met in the U.S., the Federal government should not subsidize workforce/attainable housing.
  • Messaging:
    • Democratic Wyden: “Right now, America’s nurses, firefighters and teachers are struggling to find affordable housing near the communities they serve. More must be done to fill the ‘missing middle’ between low-income housing and million dollar homes,” Wyden said. “Establishing a middle-income tax credit will guarantee more housing, and the flexibility our bill provides will help housing finance agencies best meet the needs of their individual communities.”
    • Republican Sullivan: ““Everywhere I travel in our state, I hear from Alaskans reeling from the scarcity of housing. It’s a challenge that afflicts rural and urban communities, low and middle-income families, and stands as an obstacle to greater economic opportunity,” said Sullivan…. “This will catalyze the private sector to build more housing in urban and rural areas for working families—teachers, law enforcement, first responders, nurses—the backbone of so many communities.”

Other Current Federal Legislation Related to Attainable Housing

  • 3216, Build More Housing Near Transit Act of 2023 (Same legislation in House: H.R. 6199)

      • Sponsors: Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) & Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN)
      • Sponsors in House: Rep. Scott Harvey Peters (D-CA-50) & Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA-05)
      • Legislative Outlook (as of 1/19/24): Planned for inclusion in 2026 transportation bill reauthorization.
      • Summary
        • Directs the Secretary of Transportation to boost a transit project’s rating if the project includes pro-housing policies for areas along the project route;
        • Defines pro-housing policies as state or local action to remove regulatory barriers to constructing or preserving housing, reduce or eliminate parking minimums or minimum lot sizes, establish by-right approval processes for multi-family housing, commit substantial public property to affordable housing development or preservation, and eliminate or raise residential property height limits; and
        • Engages the Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop a methodology to evaluate the merits of the pro-housing policies documented in a CIG application.
  • R.5733, Workforce Housing Development Act

    • Sponsor: Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-07); no Senate companion
    • Legislative Outlook (as of 1/19/24): Planned to be offered as part of infrastructure bill reauthorization in 2026
    • Summary: Bill would establish a competitive grant program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to support the construction, preservation, or rehabilitation of affordable workforce housing in areas with shortages of affordable housing units for sale.