WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, and Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced their Renters Tax Credit Act of 2021 to lower the cost of rent for families across the country. This bill would establish a new renters tax credit to make housing more affordable for low-income households. These households, which include many low-wage workers, seniors, and people with disabilities living on low, fixed incomes, are far more likely than other households to pay very high shares of their income for housing and face a much greater risk of eviction and homelessness.
“Even before the pandemic, one in four renters in Ohio were paying over half of their incomes on housing, leaving many to choose between buying groceries or paying rent,” said Brown. “The lack of affordable housing is holding back communities and families in all parts of the country. Our legislation will help lower people’s rents, increase the supply of affordable housing for working families, and begin to relieve the crippling financial stress too many Ohioans face each month.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare that tens of millions of Americans are one or two missed paychecks away from being unable to pay their rent. The problem is particularly acute in communities with more job opportunities, forcing workers to pay sky-high rent to hold down jobs. This leaves families without financial security, and holds our economy back. For too long, Congress has neglected working families who rent, and our legislation would begin to reverse this trend. Our bill would make housing more affordable by lowering rents for working families across the country,” said Wyden.
This legislation would:
- Authorize states to allocate a capped amount of renters credits to owners or developers of rental housing for a credit period of up to 15 years
- Require tenants pay no more than 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities – much lower than the usual share of rent to income many low-income families are forced to pay to keep a roof over their heads
- Enable landlords to use the credit in buildings that also have low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) allocations — making it easier to reduce rents for some units to levels low-income families can afford — or separately in non-LIHTC buildings