Press Releases

  • Media Advisory

    Sen. Sherrod Brown to Speak at NAAHL’s Policy and Practice Conference

    Sen. Brown (D-Ohio), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, will be the Morning Keynote speaker at NAAHL’s annual conference Thursday, December 1. Sen. Brown will speak from 9:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.

    Location: Top of the Hill at the Reserve Officers Association, 1 Constitution Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002

     

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  • Media Advisory

    Comptroller Curry to Speak at NAAHL’s Policy and Practice Conference

    Comptroller Thomas Curry will be the Breakfast Keynote speaker at NAAHL’s annual conference Thursday, December 1. Comptroller Curry will speak from 8:00 a.m. until 8:45 a.m.

    Location: Top of the Hill at the Reserve Officers Association, 1 Constitution Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002

     

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  • Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing

    NAAHL & ULI Symposium | October 11, 2016

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  • NAAHL Statement on CDFI Fund’s Capital Magnet Fund Announcement

    September 22, 2016

    Today’s historic launch of the Capital Magnet Fund begins an important new chapter for affordable housing and inclusive neighborhood revitalization.  High-performing community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and nonprofit developers will now have the growth capital necessary to mobilize responsible private financing and scale up the development of affordable housing. The $90 million of awards will generate at least $1 billion in new housing investment.

    The timing could not be better. Working families and neighborhoods desperately need affordable housing and investment. These CDFIs and nonprofit developers have the experience and capability to deliver quality homes at affordable rents and prices. And NAAHL’s member banks, CDFIs, and other private capital providers are ready for partnership.

    –Benson F. “Buzz” Roberts, President and CEO

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  • Banking Agencies Finalize New and Revised CRA Q&As

    The federal banking agencies have finalized Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Questions and Answers (Q&As) proposed in 2014 and published a single set of Q&As that consolidates these new Q&As with those previously issued. The agencies adopted all but one of their proposals, which address: economic development; examples of community development; innovative or flexible lending practices; the service test; and responsiveness and innovativeness generally. The Q&As also include a number of technical corrections.

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  • OCC Responsible Innovation Comment Letter

    May 31, 2016

    Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
    400 Seventh Street, SW
    Washington, DC 21219

    RE: Supporting Responsible Innovation in the Federal Banking System

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    The undersigned national organizations – representing developers, owners, investors and lenders of affordable rental housing in urban, suburban, and rural areas – appreciate the opportunity to comment on the OCC’s white paper on Supporting Responsible Innovation in the Federal Banking System. Banks are a critically important source of financing for affordable rental housing.

    We support the OCC’s recognition that ensuring fair access to financial services includes financing affordable rental housing. We are further encouraged to read that: “The OCC may also issue guidance on its expectations related to products and services designed to address the needs of low- to moderate-income individuals and communities and may encourage innovative approaches to financial inclusion by promoting awareness of other activities that could qualify for Community Reinvestment Act [(CRA)]consideration.” (page 8)

    Our members variously seek and provide financing for affordable housing. We frequently hear that CRA would far more effectively encourage financing for affordable housing, including through innovative financial products and delivery systems, if the OCC and its colleague banking agencies provide greater clarity, certainty, and consistency with regard to how affordable housing activities will receive CRA consideration. Indeed, changes in the affordable housing and banking industries make improved guidance increasingly urgent. We note that the following recommendations would not require changes to the CRA regulation or to the underlying statute.

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  • NAAHL STATEMENT ON NEW LIHTC EXPANSION BILL

    Sens. Cantwell and Hatch Introduce 50% LIHTC Expansion Bill

    By Buzz Roberts, NAAHL President and CEO

    Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has joined long-time LIHTC champion Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) in introducing legislation to expand allocations of Low Income Housing Tax Credits by 50%, phased in over five years. Sen. Cantwell estimates this expansion will generate an additional 400,000 units over 10 years. The bill, S. 2962, would also set a minimum 4% annual credit rate for bond-financed properties and building acquisition costs; and allow an average income test that would promote more mixed-income LIHTC properties.

    Although Sen. Cantwell had previously announced her plans to introduce a LIHTC expansion, the bill’s prospects are greatly bolstered by the support of Chairman Hatch; Sen. Ron Wyden (OR), the committee’s ranking Democrat; and Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), another senior committee Democrat and the expected Senate Democratic leader starting in 2017.

    Broader business or individual tax reform legislation in 2017 or 2018 is the mostly likely vehicle for moving the bill forward. Introduction of the Cantwell-Hatch LIHTC bill this year is important to attracting broader support in the Congress in anticipation of broader tax legislation.

    Phasing in the allocation expansion over five years reduces the estimated cost of the 50% volume increase. The 4% minimum credit rate would significantly expand the feasibility and number of tax-exempt bond financed projects, which automatically qualify for such credits, as well as preservation projects where building acquisition costs are significant. The corresponding rate under current law, set by a discounting formula, is about 3.2% today. The formula rate would be available if interest rates rise high enough for it to exceed the 4% floor.

    The average income test would provide an optional alternative to current law, which allows credits only for units with rents and occupancy limited to 60% (or in some cases, 50%) of the area median income. Under the new provision, a LIHTC project sponsor could designate rent and occupancy limits for each unit at 20- 80% of the area median income, provided that the project-wide average does not exceed 60%. This provision will promote a broader mix of incomes and rents within LIHTC projects, and should be especially useful in advancing neighborhood revitalization, projects in sparsely populated rural areas, and the preservation of existing properties where some tenants’ incomes are 60-80% of the area median.

    The Cantwell-Hatch bill does not include a number of other provisions that Sen. Cantwell had included in early drafts. These provisions could resurface as the legislative process develops.

    NAAHL is a steering committee member of the national ACTION campaign to expand and improve the LIHTC authority.