Oregon is about to reach the cap for 4% Private Activity Bonds (PAB). Housing Oregon has been proactive as we’ve approached the limit, as both the Rural and Portland Metro Policy Councils have discussed this topic in their respective meetings. On March 16, Housing Oregon convened a joint meeting with Housing Alliance where we set out a roadmap for advocacy. In early April we met with the Governor’s office, who has been very supportive of OHCS and Housing Authorities of Oregon managing a shared pipeline of projects. 

On April 20th, 2022, the Private Activity Bond Committee (PABC) met. Housing Oregon provided written testimony in advance. OHCS presented detailed information about the series of projects closing in the next 150 days. OHCS’s $72 Million budget request was fully funded and will be used to fund the next slate of 4% LIHTC projects.

OHCS has stated their goals for next steps include:

  • Finalizing agreements with the Housing Authorities of Oregon about our collective  strategy for managing a shared pipeline of projects. 
  • Re-launching workgroup efforts to design an updated competitive structure for the 4%  LIHTC program that is effectively tied to other public funder processes as well as placing  a more strategic lens on readiness to proceed.

Housing Oregon and our members are working closely with OHCS as they develop new rules in their transition to a competitive 4% LIHTC process. Our goal is to ensure a new system is established utilizing a simple application process and improves coordination between OHCS and other public funders to better align their competitive solicitations. We hope to avoid challenges other states have experienced transitioning to competitive processes resulting in dramatic reductions in preservation of expiring LIHTC projects and delays in assembling financing due to misaligned solicitation processes.

Federal Advocacy

One way to free-up PAB cap space would be for Congress to amend the 50% test to a lower threshold such as 33% or 25%. According to Novogradac, 30 states are either at the PAB cap or are very nearly at the cap, so Federal action would benefit more than just Oregon’s housing market. Housing Oregon has created a sign-on letter asking Senator Wyden to champion lowering the financed-by test threshold for 4% LIHTC to 25%. Please consider adding your organization’s voice to this effort.