Advocacy needed on behalf of LIHTC and affordable housing

We are almost a week removed from the election and thus have had time to catch up with congressional staff and colleagues in the industry. These conversations, which are ongoing, have a common theme: Tax reform, once considered an elusive legislative goal, now is much more of a political and legislative reality with the election of President-elect Trump and the House and Senate both controlled by Republicans.

A process exists, budget reconciliation, which allows House and Senate leadership to expedite tax reform and limits the ability of opposition to prevent proposals from passing. Under reconciliation, proposals only need 51 votes in the Senate and thus avoid the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster. Therefore, if the House and Senate come to an agreement on a tax reform proposal(s) they can pass it with little or no Democratic support and send it to President Trump for his signature.

The affordable housing industry must be prepared for this possibility. Despite the strong bipartisan support the LIHTC has in the Congress, this is a new environment where the achievable goal of passing tax reform could overwhelm good policy making. Congress must be aware of how some reform proposals could hinder affordable housing production.

Therefore we and our colleagues in the industry are asking our memberships to immediately reach out to your congressional representatives and emphasize the importance of the LIHTC and affordable housing programs in their communities. Our successes over the years have been the result of our elected representatives seeing what the LIHTC accomplishes in their communities. This has never been more important than now so please take every opportunity you can over the next two months to introduce, reintroduce and highlight the success of affordable housing at home.

The Oklahoma Coalition for Affordable Housing will be hosting meetings with our congressional delegation during December or January. We are also planning on coordinating a Washington DC fly in with other state coalitions this spring.

Please have your staff, vendors and residents reach out to their respective Congressmen and Senators as we tell the story of affordable housing need in Oklahoma.

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