WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan yesterday joined Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in introducing legislation to provide rent relief for hard-working Granite Staters and Americans struggling to pay their bills amid rising housing costs. The Rent Relief Act would create a new, refundable tax credit to provide relief to families at a time when renters’ wages have remained stagnant and housing costs have increased rapidly.
“As far too many families scramble to afford the cost of living, we must keep working to find solutions to our affordable housing crisis,” said Senator Hassan. “I’ve heard from businesses across our state that one of their most pressing challenges is a shortage of affordable housing for their prospective employees. This common-sense bill would create a refundable tax credit to help bring relief to families who struggle to afford their rent and expand economic opportunity for hard-working Granite Staters and Americans.”
Under the Rent Relief Act, the refundable tax credit will be available to individuals who live in rental housing and pay more than 30% of their gross income for the taxable year on their rental costs, including utilities. Eligible individuals would qualify for the tax benefit by determining the total amount spent yearly on rent, taking into account the family’s annual income, and the federal government’s established fair market rent rates for the area. Individuals who live in government-subsidized rental housing could claim the value of one month’s rent as a refundable tax credit. Subsidized rent is normally capped at 30% of a person’s income, making them eligible for the tax benefit for rent-burdened residents. The Rent Relief Act would give much-needed relief to lower income residents.
The Rent Relief Act is supported by: the National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Fair Housing of California, and the National Housing Law Project.
To see supportive statements about the bill, including from Matthew Desmond, Author of “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” click here.
Text of the legislation can be found here.
A fact sheet on the bill can be found here.