UMB Gerontology Blog: Federal Tax Reform Puts Senior Affordable Housing in Danger

The growing number of older adults in Massachusetts and nationally are running up against a lack of affordable housing options and the situation is already in crisis mode, according to Len Fishman, director of the UMass Boston Gerontology Institute.

In the Gerontology Institute’s Blog, Fishman spotlights how the current affordable senior housing  crisis would be made worse by the US House of Representatives version of tax reform, which may force people out of communities where they have spent their lifetime in many cases.

As Fishman explains, “the most important remaining government program assisting the construction and preservation of affordable housing like that involves the tax-exempt private activity bonds and an accompanying 4 percent low-income housing tax credit.”

“The House tax bill,” Fishman writes,” would eliminate private activity bonds and accompanying tax credits—one of the last forms of government support making private investment in affordable housing for seniors possible. The Senate bill would leave the bonds and tax credits largely intact. It’s essential that a final bill preserves these critical tools to help us address the dire housing problem facing many of our most vulnerable citizens.”

In terms of local impact to Massachusetts, Fishman makes clear what is at stake: “MassHousing estimates that the loss of the 4 percent credit and other elements of the House bill would eliminate four of every five affordable units built or preserved in the state each year.”


2 thoughts on “UMB Gerontology Blog: Federal Tax Reform Puts Senior Affordable Housing in Danger

  1. It would be more useful to describe the financial, and health, benefits of programs like Nesterly and NeighborGood than to continue to bemoan Trump. Local solutions are often both more successful financially, socially, and in terms of community than segregated senior housing, and tracking the impact of community support should – most certainly – identify those cost benefits as well as the social ones. They become even more critical as the tax based options become more vulnerable in a chaotic Washington dialog.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Among MHAC’s many goals is sharing implications of proposed policies and legislation. UMass Boston’s blog concentrated on a House version of a bill that would be damaging to senior affordable housing, but also mentioned that a Senate version would preserve a crucial tax credit. We have and will continue to preach the benefits of programs like Nesterly and promote local solutions alongside spotlighting relevant state and federal policies that have serious local impact.

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