Industry Colleagues Working Together
First organized by Herb Collins, Jack Manning and a number of industry colleagues in 1993, the Housing Advisory Group (HAG) is dedicated to protecting and improving affordable housing programs. Key architects of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), these visionaries joined industry colleagues in working with President Reagan, Senate Finance Chairman Bob Packwood and a number of congressional supporters of affordable housing to create the LIHTC program within the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
The significance of the HAG was realized during the 1995-96 budget negotiations, which threatened the survival of the LIHTC. Through its efforts, the HAG created a strong foundation of support within Congress, defeating attempts to sunset the program. These efforts led to an eventual increase in the credit cap from $1.25 to $1.75 and subsequent indexing of the LIHTC for inflation. For the past 24 years, the HAG has worked in a non-partisan fashion to educate Administrations and Members of Congress on the benefits of the LIHTC. The HAG’s effectiveness is measured by its direct relationships and credibility with Members of Congress and their staffs as well as its success in advocating for the LIHTC.
In 2015, we joined with our industry colleagues and successfully worked with Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committee members to secure the permanent fixed rate 9% LIHTC in the PATH Act. We also increased the level of support for the LIHTC with the House Republican leadership, within the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees and among Members of Congress in general. As in the past, these efforts have given us a base of support with policy makers which could lead to a much needed increase in resources thanks to The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, legislation introduced in the Senate by Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Finance Committee member Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and in the House by Ways and Means members Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA). All of these cumulative efforts have created a positive narrative for the LIHTC.
Widely viewed and accepted by policy makers as the most successful affordable housing production program created in partnership with the private sector, the LIHTC enjoys broad bi-partisan support. The HAG and our colleagues are working with these policy makers as we confront our next great challenge, tax reform. We are confident based on the track record of the LIHTC that we will come out on the other side of tax reform with a stronger, more efficient and more robust program. We are working with the tax writers on Capitol Hill and with the Administration toward this end.