September 20, 2010
Nation's Building News

The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB

Non-Traditional Investors Sought for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program

NAHB First Vice Chairman Bob Nielsen was on hand for a Sept. 15 meeting held by the White House Domestic Policy Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury Department to discuss strategies for expanding the investor base for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.

LIHTC syndicators, tax attorneys, intermediaries and several other developers were also included in the mix.  

In the absence of traditional major investors for some time now, industry stakeholders have sought ways to open the program to non-traditional investors. Hoping to help this process along, the Administration brought together industry participants to identify current aspects of the LIHTC program that are particularly attractive to non-traditional investors and explore ways in which these benefits can be enhanced and more widely communicated.

The Administration has also been seeking to identify programmatic barriers to greater participation by non-traditional investors and explore ways to lower or eliminate them.

Last week's discussions focused on seven major options, including:

  • Revising the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
  • Directing more LIHTCs toward the preservation of existing government-assisted housing
  • Creating a secondary market for purchases of LIHTCs
  • Addressing accounting issues related to the effective yield
  • Shortening the compliance period
  • Shortening the tax credit delivery period
  • Increasing the carry-back period

A majority of participants in the White House meeting primarily favored the options of revising the CRA and addressing accounting issues related to the effective yield in order to encourage broader investor participation in the LIHTC program.  

Going forward, "The good news is that the Administration recognizes the value of the LIHTC and will be working to enhance its acceptance in the marketplace," noted Nielsen.

NAHB continues to advocate for an extension of the LIHTC exchange program for 2010 allocations as well as legislative changes to increase the participation of non-corporate investors in LIHTCs.

For more information, e-mail Claudia Kedda at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8352.

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