by Jeff Whiting, President and Chief Executive Officer, City Real Estate Advisors, Inc., and Chairman of the Board, AHTCC
I left the 2016 Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition’s Annual Meeting at the end of January with a renewed sense of purpose, reminded of why it’s my “can’t miss” industry conference of the year.
Bringing together the country’s leading Housing Credit stakeholders, including syndicators, investors, lenders, developers, legal and accounting professionals, and state allocating agencies, the Annual Meeting is a conference where we, the members of AHTCC, set legislative priorities that we will collectively pursue with Congress and the Administration throughout the year and beyond.
It is the one conference where participants put aside the marketing of our individual businesses and focus on policy-related issues, and our collective effort makes a real difference on Capitol Hill and in communities across the country.
Inspired by the permanent extension of the 9 percent Housing Credit rate floor in December, our members committed this year to a proactive agenda of strengthening and expanding the Housing Credit in the years ahead. Securing the 9 percent rate was a huge win for our industry and the people we serve, significantly strengthening the Housing Credit by providing more flexibility to state allocating agencies and helping to finance affordable housing for those at the lowest income levels.
Unlike other conferences where attendees can be relatively passive, the AHTCC Annual Meeting provides a venue for its members to actively participate in conversations with Capitol Hill and with AHTCC committee and board initiatives.
As part of the Conversations with Capitol Hill session we spoke with House Ways and Means Committee member Representative Todd Young (R-IN) and with Artie Mandel of Senate Finance Committee member Senator Maria Cantwell’s (D-WA) office. We heard from some of the brightest minds in the industry on the presidential campaigns and the future of tax reform. And, we were welcomed to San Antonio by Mayor Ivy Lee’s luncheon keynote on affordable housing priorities in the city and nationwide.
Policy and legislative priorities aside, the conference also provides a unique opportunity for AHTCC members to socialize and network in a collegial setting with the interests of the Housing Credit at the core of our participation. I thank all members of AHTCC and Executive Director Vickie Spielman for making this year’s meeting such a success.
While this year’s conference has come and gone there are still opportunities to join, or get more involved with, AHTCC. All AHTCC committees – legislative, membership, and marketing & communications – are open to members. And, you can plan now to attend the Spring Meeting and Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards (tentatively scheduled for June 8, 2016), the September Advocacy Event (September 14, 2016), or the 2017 Annual Meeting (January 23-25, 2017). Contact Vickie (202-661-7698, firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional information on any of these opportunities to support our mission to preserve, expand, and improve the Housing Credit and complementary programs through legislative outreach and education.