Greetings, HCCP Professionals – and welcome to the June edition of The Credential.
I hope you are having a good year. Change and challenges are fully in motion in the affordable housing industry.
Fellow professionals continue to closely monitor developments in Washington that could have an impact on the affordable housing industry. Since the last edition, a broad, general outline for tax reform has been released, but details are only beginning to emerge. The debate will now begin.
Significant debate also is expected on initial administration budget priorities (read “cuts”) that have just been released. Some cuts are potentially troubling to our industry, including the Community Development Block Grant program and major HUD programs such as HOME and Housing Choice Vouchers. Professional industry lobbyists continue to stress that some of the greatest impact on members of Congress happens at the local level through direct engagement of those legislators and their staff members, including invitations to visit LIHTC ribbon cuttings, visiting them at their district offices and demonstrating vocal support of legislation. Educating legislators and the public about the strong 30+-year track record of the program is an important responsibility we all bear. Some legislators are not very knowledgeable about the program and how it works.
The May 9 edition of the PBS TV program Frontline, “Poverty, Politics, and Profit,” demonstrated the continuing need for engagement and education. Direct intervention by our industry with the producers of the documentary film resulted in an episode that was considerably different and less damaging than originally proposed last year, although some conclusions and implications that remained in the program are unwarranted, completely out of context, and unsupported by the facts. If you missed this episode concerning affordable housing, view a replay at www.pbs.org/show/frontline/ S35 Ep12.
On a positive note, important legislation to strengthen the LIHTC program is pending in Congress and broadly supported by some bipartisan sponsors (see interview link below). Your legislators need to hear your support (see the “Getting Involved” article link below) for these changes and enhancements.
In this edition of The Credential, in our regular spotlight articles, you will learn more about HCCP Cheryl Lessing of New Jersey, HCCP Board of Governors member Susan Westbrook from North Carolina, and HCCP exam distributor Edie L. Kitchens, based in Oklahoma.
This edition also continues our series on practical compliance topics. In the article “Back to Basics: Build a Combined Program Library,” you will learn about some essential information to have on hand to be a well-informed and effective professional.
A fascinating interview of three respected affordable housing professionals provides further insights on tax reform and HUD. See what some leaders make of the changes that are in the air.
A timely article from Michael Bezruki of the NAHB staff in Washington provides further depth on “Getting Involved at the Grassroots Level.” Learn from an experienced professional and apply this knowledge to good effect in your local area.
Let me remind you that the 2017 HCCP webinars are free and offer a great way to meet your continuing education requirements while learning new things about our industry. Please note: You must enter a credit card at checkout, but using the promo code JUNHCCP will result in no charge and you will be registered for the webinar. Our second webinar of the year, “Compliance Must-Knows for Tax Credit Professionals with Other Funding Sources,” will be presented by affordable housing industry stalwart, longtime HCCP exam distributor, and HCCP Board of Governors Technical Advisory Group member A.J. Johnson. The webinar will provide practical examples and information you can apply immediately in your professional life. We hope you will be able to join us.
Let us know how the HCCP Board of Governors can support you in your professional endeavors. Topic suggestions for The Credential or the webinars are always welcomed. Keep up your good work in representing our industry and providing competent, professional practice to your clients and stakeholders!
Bob Landis, HCCP
Chair, HCCP Board of Governors
In this Issue