Representatives Blumenauer, Kelly, LaHood, and Kildee Introduce Legislation to Incentivize Equitable Transit-Oriented Development

March 10, 2020
Press Release
 Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Mike Kelly (PA-16), Darin LaHood (IL-18), and Dan Kildee (MI-05)  today introduced the Revitalizing Economies, Housing, And Businesses (REHAB) Act of 2019, which would reinstate and improve a tax credit (“REHAB credit”) for buildings that are more than 50 years old and within one-half of a mile of a public transportation center. The REHAB credit is intended to work in communities alongside the successful Historic Tax Credit, which Representatives Blumenauer, Kelly, LaHood, and Kildee have also championed.
Blumenauer, Kelly, LaHood, and Kildee, all members of the Ways and Means Committee, introduced this legislation to incentivize equitable growth and infill development around public transportation, reinvest in vital infrastructure projects, and incentivize affordable housing. 
“Affordable housing, meaningful infrastructure investment, accessible transit options, and a sense of place are all cornerstones of livable communities,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Cities of all sizes are seeing unprecedented interest in affordable and accessible development but land values and development costs disincentivize widespread rehabilitation. This legislation incentivizes environmentally friendly rehabilitation projects near transit and encourages more mixed income developments, which strengthen communities and economies.”
“Neighborhood revitalization is key to improving communities in a way that makes a lasting impact on the quality of life of their residents,” said Rep. Kelly. “The bipartisan REHAB Act creates a path to that goal by creating another tool for investment in main street properties. It’s a win-win for our nation’s downtowns and small towns.”
The demand for living and working in walkable urban communities is booming, but too many communities—large and small—are either struggling to meet the demand—leading to high prices—or struggling with crumbling infrastructure leading to greater disinvestment. The Revitalizing Economies, Housing and Business (REHAB) Act creates a badly needed incentive that will encourage smart new growth around public transportation, restore vitality to our downtowns, attract new private investment in to repair local infrastructure and promote greater affordability in high demand markets. Every American and business should be able to live in or operate in communities that are walkable, healthy and prosperous.  LOCUS applauds Representatives Blumenauer and Kelly for their leadership in introducing this important legislation and looks forward to working with them to advance it,” said Christopher Coes, Director, LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors.
“The National Trust applauds Representative Blumenauer and Representative Kelly for their leadership in introducing legislation that reestablishes the ten percent older building rehabilitation tax credit,” said Tom Cassidy, Vice President of Government Relations at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “This legislation will complement and enhance the existing 20 percent historic tax credit and offer older communities near public transit centers a new tool to revitalize and address pressing new challenges, including the creation of more affordable housing.”
The REHAB Act would reinstate the old 10% rehabilitation credit, increase the credit rate to 15%, and update the credit to be available for buildings placed in service at least 50 years prior. The REHAB credit is also only available to buildings within a half-mile of fixed guideway transportation stations, commuter rail stations, intercity passenger rail stations, or a planned and funded Capital Investment Grant project. 
The REHAB Act can also be used for building expansions on the same block. There is also a bonus credit rate of 25% for rehabilitation expenses relating to public infrastructure projects required by state or local governments. A bonus credit of 25% is also available for expenses relating to the provision of rent-restricted housing. Taxpayers looking to utilize the REHAB credit also need to receive approval from the National Park Service that the property isn’t listed on the National Register of Historic Places or located in a Historic District. 
To read the bill, click here