The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) today released the seventh edition of NCSHA’s Recommended Practices in Housing Credit Administration, consensus standards that guide each state’s administration of the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) program, which is the primary financial resource for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing in the United States.

The new edition of the Recommended Practices includes expanded guidance to inform state administration in the most critical issues impacting affordable housing today:

  • Skyrocketing development financing, insurance, and operating costs;
  • Escalating pressures on the continued long-term affordability of existing properties; and
  • Siting considerations related to renter opportunity, community revitalization, and disaster risk.

The new edition also includes, for the first time, guidance on how state Housing Credit administration can encourage and ensure meaningful renter protections that are also workable for landlords and developers.

The process to revise and expand the Recommended Practices began in June 2022 and was led by a task force of state housing finance agency executive directors co-chaired by NCSHA board members Maura Collins, executive director of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, and Christopher Nunn, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs/Georgia Housing and Finance Authority.

The task force’s membership represented a total of 21 large and small states with urban and rural areas in all geographic regions of the country. Collectively, the states represented allocate more than two-thirds of Housing Credit authority annually.

In addition to inviting recommendations and comments from all state Housing Credit agencies, the task force solicited and received feedback from national organizations representing Housing Credit developers, landlords, property managers, investors, and syndicators. The task force also received and considered extensive feedback from civil rights, fair housing, and tenant advocacy organizations.

Although the task force has finished its work on this edition of the Recommended Practices, NCSHA and its state housing finance agency members are continuing to consider the development of two additional practices for future inclusion in this document. Specifically, NCSHA is continuing to refine its work on a practice related to the right of first refusal and developing a new practice related to implementation of the Average Income Test.

NCSHA’s Recommended Practices in Housing Credit Administration were last revised through a similar process in 2017. NCSHA has convened state Housing Credit agencies, industry groups, and advocacy organizations to develop and refine the practices on a regular basis since 1992. The practices have been widely recognized for their importance in strengthening state administration of the Housing Credit, maintaining Congress’ confidence in the program, and establishing consensus among its many stakeholders.

The Housing Credit program is “the most important resource for creating affordable housing in the United States today,” according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Since the program began in 1987, state housing agencies have financed more than 3.8 million affordable rental homes with the Credit. NCSHA is advocating bipartisan, bicameral legislation to increase the Housing Credit — the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act — to meet rising housing affordability needs everywhere in the United States.