Affordable housing developer Peter Wasserman thought he had low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) investors lined up for several projects, but he says most of them have pulled out in the last six to eight weeks.
Other developers also report that having stalled projects because of a shortage in LIHTC capital this year as banks and other investors deal with the credit squeeze and economic downturn.
Wasserman is executive director of Affordable Housing America, Inc., a nonprofit developer, and a director with G-MAT Holdings, Inc., a for-profit developer headquartered in Georgia.
He and others in the industry are looking for solutions. Wasserman says early conversations with an aide to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, regarding the LIHTC have been encouraging. “Right now, they are open to ideas,” he says, adding that there’s been no promise to act.
Wasserman is encouraging others in the affordable housing industry to contact Baucus’ office, or the Senate Finance Committee at (202) 224-4515 with their concerns and proposals for the LIHTC market as soon as possible, especially with the possibility of a second round of economic stimulus proposals on the way.
The Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition has also been working on the issue. One proposal from the coalition is to temporarily reduce the credit period from 10 years to five, a move it hopes will bring in new investors. For more information, visit www.taxcreditcoalition.org