Cantwell introduces bill improving low income housing credit

Her legislation increases from 1 to 5 years the credit's "carryback" period, which enables companies to recoup past tax payments, and requires that any refund be reinvested in low-income housing projects. It also makes more of the credits eligible for the Tax Credit Exchange Program created by the Recovery Act.

"This legislation will bring up to $5 billion in private investment back to into the low-income housing tax credit market, which will lead to an infusion of jobs and housing in the rural communities where this type of investment has been the sharpest decline in recent years," the senator said in prepared remarks.

As many as 60,000 new affordable apartments could be built and 70,000 jobs could be created by enacting the measure, according to Enterprise, a non-profit housing organization.