June 22-26, 2001



WHEREAS, Representatives Clay Shaw and John Lewis have reintroduced the Historic Homeownership Assistance Act (HR 1172) in the United States House of Representatives; and

WHEREAS, similar legislation enjoyed broad bipartisan support last year in the 106th Congress; and

WHEREAS, the proposed legislation would provide a 20 percent tax credit to a homeowner against the homeowner's federal income taxes for rehabilitation expenses up to $40,000 on a primary residence that is located in a federal, state or local historic district; and

WHEREAS, it would benefit moderate-income taxpayers by allowing the credit to be claimed in the form of a mortgage credit transferred to a bank or lender to reduce mortgage interest rates for those taxpayers without adequate tax liability to claim the credit; and

WHEREAS, it would not allow the credit to be claimed for the cost of expanding a house; and

WHEREAS, it would allow for relaxed historic rehabilitation standards in distressed neighborhoods if the condition of the property or the neighborhood warranted such a relaxation; and

WHEREAS, the National Trust for Historic Preservation estimates that the United States has 11,436 historic districts with 870,112 historic buildings, including 3,747 historic districts with 505,739 historic buildings that are located in census tracts with 20 percent or more poverty; and

WHEREAS, the vast majority of these historic districts and buildings are located in cities; and

WHEREAS, the Historic Homeownership Assistance Act would encourage the revitalization of historic urban neighborhoods, make city neighborhoods more attractive for many homebuyers, boost community development efforts, and increase the availability of affordable housing,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the Historic Homeownership Assistance Act and urges Congress and President to enact it expeditiously.