Virginia Article

Virginia Lawmakers Approve New Affordable Housing Tax Credit Program

Virginia Lawmakers Approve New Affordable Housing Tax Credit Program

Mark Robinson with the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on a new tax credit program that could lead to the construction of hundreds of affordable apartments in the next several years.

Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly endorsed a scaled-back version of the so-called Virginia Opportunity Tax Credit Program as the special session drew to a close.

If Gov. Ralph Northam signs the bill into law, Virginia Housing — formerly known as the Virginia Housing Development Authority — will oversee the initiative and up to $15 million annually will be earmarked for it.

Del. Jeff Bourne, D-Richmond, who helped broker a compromise to pass the legislation, said the new tax credit will “play a small part in fixing a huge problem here in Virginia.”

With Northam’s signature, Virginia will join 18 other states around the country that have established a tax credit program mirroring the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. A state work group urged lawmakers to adopt the approach in a report issued last fall.

“It is a game-changer,” said Brian Koziol, executive director of the Virginia Housing Alliance. “It is going to lead to a lot more units per year, and over time we’ll see the impact of those.”

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