Young proposes tax credit to remove, redevelop abandoned buildings


U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) recently introduced the bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act to help address the nation’s housing affordability crisis, create jobs and encourage economic development.

S. 98, which Sen. Young cosponsored on Jan. 28 with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), would  allow a tax credit for neighborhood revitalization. Other cosponsors of the bill include U.S Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jerry Moran (R-KS).

Specifically, the tax credit would cover the cost between building or renovating a home in areas where the cost of purchasing and renovating homes is greater than the value of the sale price of homes and the price at which they can be sold, according to Sen. Young’s office, and would help existing homeowners in such distressed neighborhoods renovate and remain in their homes. 

“By providing a tax credit to remove and redevelop abandoned buildings, we can incentivize more affordable housing to be constructed in areas that are in need of rehabilitation,” Sen. Young said on Feb. 3 in a statement. “This legislation will benefit many struggling communities in Indiana seeking to revitalize amid this pandemic.”

If enacted, S. 98 would require that homes constructed or revitalized under the program must be sold to homeowners making less than 140 percent of the area median income to ensure that improved housing directly benefits members of the communities targeted by the new tax credit, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Young’s office. 

In addition, the credits would only be eligible for houses constructed or revitalized in census tracts that meet certain minimum metrics related to median gross income, poverty rates and home sale prices, the summary states. Investors, not the government, would bear the risk and the credits would be made available only after the homes have been completed and sold to a homeowner. 

The measure has garnered support from 25 groups and organizations, including Habitat for Humanity International, the Low Income Investment Fund, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations, and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, among others.