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CohnReznick LLP Report Finds Supply/Demand Imbalance In Affordable Housing Apartment Markets


Julie Rogers Murawski
Director of Marketing
CohnReznick LLP

Study Confirms Critical Shortage and Improved Operating Performance
of Housing Tax Credit Apartments in All 50 States

December 19, 2012 (New York, NY) –CohnReznick LLP, the nation’s 11th largest  accounting, tax and advisory firm, today announced the release of a study focused on the operating performance of apartment properties financed with low-income housing tax credits. The study confirms a striking imbalance between the supply and demand of affordable rental housing, revealing a widespread critical shortage of affordable rental housing across the country.  

CohnReznick’s report containing the study’s findings, The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program at Year 25: An Expanded Look at Its Performance is available for review at

The CohnReznick report examines a variety of performance measures related to occupancy rates, debt coverage, cash flow per-unit, and the incidence of underperforming properties by state, region, and Metropolitan Statistical Area. The data provides a basis for assessing a number of issues including whether affordable housing has been over-built and whether housing credit properties are meeting their financial obligations.

“For those who think that our country has “too much housing,” the fact is that most markets have a shortage of rental housing. When it comes to affordable rental housing, this report confirms that we have a critical shortage not only in our major cities, but across the entire country,” said Fred Copeman, CohnReznick Principal and leader of the firm’s Tax Credit Investment Services (TCIS) practice. “There is, in short, no room at the inn.”

The timing of the report is critical as Congress contemplates perceived corporate tax “loopholes” as well as Congressionally-authorized income tax expenditures, such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC). The CohnReznick report provides data that may be useful in helping Congress and others evaluate whether the housing credit program is meeting its intended objectives in an efficient manner. CohnReznick expects to issue a subsequent report in the first quarter, which analyzes the impact that the Community Reinvestment Act has on the “pricing” of housing tax credits.

The results of the firm’s first housing study, published by one of its legacy firms (Reznick Group) in August 2011, were viewed as surprising in some quarters given the national recession, increased unemployment and the turmoil in certain housing markets. With this new report, the firm builds on its prior study by providing much-anticipated new analysis by regional, state and local markets.

CohnReznick’s August 2011 study was the first comprehensive review of housing credit property performance data since the 2008 economic downturn began – and the new December 2012 study is the first in-depth geographic, state-by-state analysis since then as well. The lack of current information raised concerns that the investment risk profile of LIHTC properties, a major component of the multi-family housing inventory in the U.S., may have been elevated. The CohnReznick report provides comprehensive, current geographical data that address these concerns with information collected and analyzed on over 17,000 housing tax credit properties for calendar years 2008-2010.

CohnReznick achieved strong industry participation in its efforts to compile operating data for the report resulting in a 95% overall response rate. Thirty-eight organizations chose to participate in the study representing a sample size of 17,118 housing credit properties – which is in excess of 70% of the housing tax credit properties placed in service since 1986 that are being actively asset-managed by syndicators and/or investors. The sample size represents approximately $73 billion in housing tax credits and approximately $62 billion in equity contribution from investors to finance property development.

About CohnReznick
With origins dating back to 1919, CohnReznick LLP is currently the 11th largest accounting, tax and advisory firm in the United States, combining the resources and technical expertise of a national fir m with the hands-on, entrepreneurial approach that today’s dynamic business environment demands. The firm was formed out of the combination of J.H. Cohn and Reznick Group in October 2012. CohnReznick serves a large number of diverse industries and offers specialized services to Fortune 1000 companies, owner-managed firms, international enterprises, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and other key market sectors.

Headquartered in New York, NY, CohnReznick serves its clients with more than 280 partners, 2,000 employees and 25 offices nationwide. The firm is a member of Nexia International, a global network of independent accountancy, tax, and business advisors. For more information, visit

About the Tax Credit Investment Services Group
The Tax Credit Investment Services (TCIS) group is a dedicated business unit within CohnReznick focused on evaluating and advising clients on tax-advantaged investments, including low-income housing, historic rehabilitation, new markets and renewable energy. As a group made up of experts with a fairly narrow industry focus, TCIS covers a variety of consulting areas, including investment due diligence, investment and business strategy, and industry benchmarking research for the benefit of investor and syndicator communities.

The TCIS team is composed of a multidisciplinary group of professionals, including CPAs, attorneys, financial analysts and other professionals with experience as state housing finance agency and commercial real estate executives. CohnReznick’s TCIS team members have authored a number of affordable housing industry studies, speak regularly at industry conferences and have been widely quoted in the financial press concerning tax credit investments.

In addition to the professional experience of TCIS team members, the group’s clients benefit from the knowledge and experience of hundreds of CohnReznick audit, tax and consulting professionals working on investment tax credit transactions on a daily basis.


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