RICHARD GOLDSTEIN, partner, Nixon Peabody, LLP
“That providing affordable rental housing will not be a high enough national priority in 2013. The first concern has to do with budget cuts that are virtually certain to be part of any deficit reduction package next year. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs could suffer serious and devastating cuts. My second fear is that the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) could be eliminated or reduced as part of tax reform. If [reform] occurs, then all so-called tax expenditures, including the LIHTC, will be on the table.”
DOUG BIBBY, president, National Multi Housing Council
“Our biggest concern is the lack of certainty. Right now, we don't know what's going to happen to the critical functions performed by the multifamily businesses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We don't know where tax reform is headed. We have so many regulations and pending regulations—all of these directly affect our members' ability to conduct business today and in the future. In order to meet the demand for multifamily housing, we need stability and answers on these critical policy issues.”
HENRY CISNEROS, former HUD secretary, executive chairman, CityView
“I have serious fears that the debt crisis will generate some knee-jerk reactions that are not well thought-out and that could result in dramatic cuts to domestic programs, including housing. We know that housing is essential to the national economy. In the good times, it's as much as 16 percent of GDP when you consider all of the facets of the housing industry. And we know that it's essential to provide a stable platform for families' lives, and we know the demographics of the country is going to require a mix of different housing stock. The knee-jerk reaction is to overlook the long-term implications. Housing is one of those [issues] that has to remain strong into the future.”
TERRI LUDWIG, president and CEO, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
“Our next Congress should protect critical community development tools that allow us to advance our housing recovery work. This includes maintaining funding for select programs with strong track records and the ability to leverage private-sector dollars. Many key programs have already incurred significant spending cuts since the onset of the Great Recession, and sequestration would force our industry to shoulder even more of the deep cuts on the discretionary side of the budget. Losing these vital and unique sources of financing for affordable housing, foreclosure stabilization, and supportive services will impact millions of struggling families, returning veterans, frail seniors, and children.”
MICHAEL NOVOGRADAC, managing partner, Novogradac & Co.
“Tax reform is gaining momentum, and lawmakers will continue to focus on defi- cit reduction in 2013—and these considerations will factor in to every legislative issue. In the context of comprehensive tax reform, everything is on the table including broadening the tax base by eliminating existing tax provisions. And while most rhetoric focuses on eliminating ”˜loopholes,' it's important to recognize that one person's loophole is another person's congressionally intended and societally justified tax expenditure.”
NAN ROMAN, president and CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessness
“My fear is that partisanship and political animosity may lead to gridlock that will make it hard for us to address our very serious housing problems. For solutions to take root we're going to need to work together. Housing is fundamental for the well-being of us all and necessary for our nation to achieve its goals.”