CohnReznick Capitol Connection: August Is the Time for Action
Last April, the full Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit in which I testified on behalf of A.C.T.I.O.N. (A Call To Invest in Our Neighborhoods). Many of you have heard of A.C.T.I.O.N., but I am frequently asked by many others exactly what the group is. A.C.T.I.O.N. was founded in 2009 by a large cross-section of Housing Credit stakeholder organizations in reaction to the recession and financial crisis that rapidly and drastically affected Housing Credit investment. When the market started to rebound in 2010, the A.C.T.I.O.N. campaign shifted its focus to other threats to the Housing Credit, including the expiration of minimum credit rates and the overarching threat of tax reform.
It was not long ago that getting more than a handful of groups together on the same page was difficult. But nothing works better to pull together various housing policy positions than a good threat of tax reform, especially when our credit program exists as the longest section of the tax code.
Today, A.C.T.I.O.N. is comprised of more than 650 national, state, and local organizations from every state in the nation, and growing. Its mission? To protect and preserve the Housing Credit – the umbrella under which many types of affordable rental housing are being created.
As we head into July and the upcoming August Congressional recess, now is the time to start planning your grand opening with a Member of Congress in attendance. As I have mentioned when speaking across the country, our success rate is 100% when a Member visits a property and meets with residents. They understand what we do and how we make affordable housing happen. Ways and Means Chairman David Camp knows this as well, it was his advice that helped us educate more than 20 Republican Ways and Means Committee Members in 2013.
With the Senate and House bill versions of the 9% and 4% credit in play (S. 1442, HR 4717), and Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden’s push for the EXPIRE act (extenders), your effort to get a Member to your grand opening in August can make the difference. Members of Congress in both the House and Senate are looking for the publicity, believe me.
Need some help? Visit www.rentalhousingaction.org. Everything you need is there—from an advocacy toolkit, to state fact sheets, to a list of campaign partners. When planning your grand opening or ground breaking event, check in with the local office scheduler of your elected official and schedule your event around their availability. August is the time for ACTION, and whether they are Republican or Democrat, it all counts.
At the end of the day, we are all members of the Housing Party.
Bob Moss is a CohnReznick Principal and National Director of Governmental Affairs. Bob leads the Firm’s federal and state government relations efforts, particularly in the area of affordable housing. He can be reached at email@example.com or 617-648-1406. For more legislative insight from Bob, visit our Capitol Connection webpage.
Follow Bob: @BobMoss42
Registration is open for CohnReznick’s Annual Summer Affordable Housing Conference taking place August 19-20, 2014 at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. Join an outstanding group of investors, lenders, developers, housing agencies, and thought leaders for workshops, interactive panel discussions, and networking events. Register today.
This has been prepared for information purposes and general guidance only and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and CohnReznick LLP, its members, employees and agents accept no liability, and disclaim all responsibility, for the consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.