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January 18, 2018
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House Study Committee Reports Directly Impacting Affordable Housing

There were several Study Committees and Task Forces undertaken since the end of the last legislative session with direct impact on affordable housing:

Senate Study Committee on Homelessness (SR 352) Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), Chair

The materials and testimony gathered by this Committee were extensive and are archived here and discussed in the Report and Recommendations.  The 15 member Committee included Senators, representatives at the highest levels from DCH, DCA, Aging Services, DBHDD, Fulton County Board of Health, ARC, and DFCS.  The recommendations included:

  • DCH should explore ways to access federal Medicaid funds to support homeless persons and those at risk of homelessness;
  • Increase funds to the Stare Housing Trust Fund for the Homeless to expand existing homelessness programs and explore ways to maximize federal funds to address homelessness;
  • Support DCA’s expansion of the Section 811 program and mixed income properties in high density counties;
  • Increase funding for supported housing placements with the Georgia Housing Voucher program;
  • Expand the Georgia housing Voucher Program and Bridge Program to include person with a substance abuse diagnosis;
  • Fund DBHDD to provide replacement state issued ID for people transitioning form correctional facilities;
  • Create a statewide public private partnership to support creation of local re-entry case planning collaboratives in every county to help house and support persons returning from incarceration; and
  • Increase funding for homeless shelters to fund increased educational and psychosocial support for homeless youth.

Sen Study Committee on Special Tax Exemptions (SR 222) Rep. John Albers (R-Alpharetta), Chair

The Report by the six Senate members of the Committee sought to evaluate the costs and benefits of the state’s income and sales tax exemptions, and focused on six separate tax exemptions as well as the process and rationale for tax exemptions and the means to evaluate them.  The Committee created a schedule for future evaluations of the state’s income and sales tax expenditures with a plan for review of each every five years.  The Low Income Housing Tax Credit is proposed for review in 2018.

House Low Income Housing Tax Credit Study Committee (HR 798) Rep. Dale Rutledge (R-McDonough), Chair

This Committee included five members of the House.  The materials and testimony presented are archived here. The Final Report reviewed the history and purposes of the LIHTC and the testimony received, concluding that the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is successfully administering and guiding the program (p.4), but concerns were detailed regarding the valuation of LIHTC properties, concluding: “The study committee recognizes and supports continued efforts by the General Assembly to ensure that the value of the low-income housing tax credits is not included in the fair market value of the property.” (p. 5) The Committee’s recommendations included:

  • DCA should prioritize mixed income working class family developments with income diversity.
  • DCA should award additional points in applications for developments that incorporate job training classes or job counseling services and providing a community computer work station.
  • Encourage DA to promote more development of senior properties.
  • Impose a sunset on the program of Dec. 31, 2020, to allow for review and a determination whether to end or extend the program, and if extended to include a review and sunset every five years.

Elizabeth Appley, Georgia ACT Legislative Consultant