Twenty mayors plead MHDC to not eliminate LIHTC

  

Mayors tout low-income housing tax credit as a vital tool for disadvantaged residents

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Mayors from across the state wrote a letter to Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) touting the value of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) developments in their town. Six of eight MHDC commissioners voted to approve a draft annual funding plan to eliminate the tax credit.

“As mayors of cities and towns across Missouri, every one of us has to make difficult choices in allotting scarce dollars every day,” reads the letter. “We understand that state policymakers face similar challenges. That said, your unilateral move to completely eliminate the State Low Income Housing Tax Credit (‘LIHTC’) from its annual funding plan for 2017 was misguided. The Commission overturned the will of the democratically elected Legislature.”

The mayors relayed concerns of housing availability for their disadvantaged residents, including the elderly, disabled veterans, and those with special needs. They wrote that development residents would see their rent increase by $200-400 per month, preventing residences from being accessible to those they’re designed to serve.

“Indeed, this funding plan – if enacted next month – will eviscerate a program that has provided housing for so many vulnerable citizens. The number of affordable units built and preserved will collapse, and rents will skyrocket. MHDC will undermine every goal the program has long tried to accomplish.”

The mayors are hoping the Governor’s recently-appointed and not confirmed commissioners will keep the tax credit as the legislature intended. At the MHDC meeting, Lt. Gov. Parson, a no-vote on the funding plan, said he would be open to legislative reform and pleaded that unilateral commission-based reform was not appropriate.

The towns represented each have developments the mayors would love to show commissioners.

The letter is signed by the mayors of Pleasant Valley, Peculiar, Higginsville, Branson, New Florence, Edmundson, Lohman, McKittrick, Houston, Columbia, Kansas City, St. Peters, Raymore, Raytown, Riverside, Houston Lake, Platte Woods, Osage Beach, and Pine Lawn.

Read the full letter below.

Rachael Herndon is the editor at The Missouri Times, but also produces This Week in Missouri Politics and publishes Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.

Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.

To contact Rachael, email rachael@themissouritimes.com, or via Twitter @TheRachDunn.