No one builds affordable housing on their own. It takes a seasoned development team, proper financing, and the right housing policies for a deal to come together, with each component as critical as the next.
It also takes leaders in each of the different areas to step up and push each segment of the industry to go further, do better. These individuals help set the foundation for the work done by the larger industry.
Four of these leaders are Sen. Maria Cantwell, Michael Novogradac, Tony Salazar, and J. Ronald Terwilliger. You may not have ever met them, but if you work in affordable housing, you’ve been touched by their work. Each in a different way has propelled the industry forward. Whether it was through legislation, education, development, or philanthropy, they’ve made lasting contributions to affordable housing.
For their achievements, they will be inducted into the Affordable Housing Hall of Fame this year. They will be recognized at AHF Live: The Affordable Housing Developers Summit, Nov. 15-17, in Chicago.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) has become the key legislator when it comes to the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC). This year, she’s introduced legislation to expand the housing credit by 50%. Cantwell is also seeking other improvements, including an income-averaging option to help developments maintain financial feasibility while providing a deeper level of affordability. The latest push to bolster the LIHTC program comes on the heels of a successful campaign to establish a 9% fixed rate last year.
Michael Novogradac has educated people across the country on low-income housing, historic, New Markets, and other tax credits. Managing partner of Novogradac & Co., an accounting and advisory firm headquartered in San Francisco, he works with developer, syndicator, and investor clients. However, he’s reach extends far beyond the office walls. His firm has become a major industry resource through books, conferences, podcasts, and advocacy efforts.
Tony Salazar has been one of the leaders behind national development firm McCormack Baron Salazar for the past three decades. He has dedicated his professional career to rebuilding inner-city communities. As a principal of the firm and head of the West Coast operations, he has led innovative mixed-income developments across the nation, including seven HOPE VI projects; three Choice Neighborhood Implementation projects in Sacramento, Calif., San Antonio, and San Francisco; five seniors developments; seven light-rail transit villages; and five earthquake recovery projects.
J. Ronald Terwilliger has been a force in the multifamily world for decades, leading Trammell Crow Residential to become a multibillion enterprise and creating more than 200,000 units. However, it’s his philanthropic efforts that are making a difference in the affordable housing arena. Since his retirement, he has committed millions to the Urban Land Institute, Habitat for Humanity International, and Enterprise Community Partners; served on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission; and established the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families to educate policymakers about America’s affordability crisis.