National Equity Fund (NEF) had its strongest performance last year, raising and deploying $2.2 billion in affordable housing investments, announced the nonprofit firm.

Matthew Reilein
Matthew Reilein

The financing included $1.23 billion in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) investments and $930 million in affordable housing preservation lending. In total, these investments created and preserved 13,550 affordable homes in 2021.

Other notable activity for the year included $110 million in committed Opportunity Zone investments, twinning with LIHTC benefits, to create new affordable housing where each state determines its needed most and record workforce housing investments of nearly $40 million to support the nation's "missing middle.”

NEF also reported raising more than $112 million for its Emerging Minority Developer Fund to stand up to racial injustice and empower the next generation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) LIHTC developers to build their financial capacity and overcome high barriers to entry in accessing LIHTC investment to build affordable housing.

"As COVID continues to wreak havoc across the country affecting all communities—but disproportionately impacting lower-income communities—the need for quality affordable housing has never been greater," said NEF president and CEO Matt Reilein. "We're proud to have had such a strong year in support of our mission to create and deliver innovative, collaborative financial solutions to expand the creation and preservation of affordable housing. Beyond the numbers, our continued growth means there are more individuals and families across the country with a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home."

The nonprofit is celebrating its 35th anniversary this month. NEF was founded by its affiliate, the Local Initiatives Support Corp., on Jan. 9, 1987, a few months after the LIHTC was introduced as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to encourage private investment in affordable housing.

"NEF has come a long way since we closed our first deal in Kansas City, Missouri, on Sept, 30, 1987," said Mark Siranovic, senior vice president of investor relations, who has been with NEF for 28 years. "That deal had 43 LIHTC units and less than $1 million in equity. Today, we are approaching our 3,000th deal and have invested over $20.2 billion in more than 215,500 residences across 48 states plus Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. And, we now have relationships with close to 1,150 developers and 250 investors, and 195 funds under management."