Thursday, July 2, 2015

LISC, LIIF awarded New Markets Tax Credits

News from NHC's family of members
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference

The U.S. Treasury recently awarded two NHC members $60 and $70 million, respectively, in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC). The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) was awarded $60 million in credits and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) received $70 million. The funds will be used to spur economic development in distressed communities across the country.

Both organizations have a strong track record of using tax credit funding to boost development and reduce poverty and crime in communities. LISC has used past funds to construct a state-of-the-art library and community center in Petersburg, Va., a new health center in St. Paul, Minn. and a charter school in Harlem. Past funding for LIIF has financed redevelopment of Memphis, Tenn.’s Sears Crosstown, a state-of-the-art mixed-use facility consisting of commercial, residential and mixed-income space.  The development will also include office space, health clinics and an arts- and sciences-based charter high school.

“The NMTC program allows LIIF to make investments that spur economic growth and opportunity in high poverty areas with limited access to traditional capital sources,” Nancy O. Andrews, LIIF’s president and CEO said in a press release. Michael Rubinger, president and CEO of LISC, also shared that NMTC funds “encourage the private market to lend and invest in places that would otherwise seem too risky, sparking new opportunities and bringing new goods and services to people who need them.”

Since its establishment in 2000, the New Markets Tax Credits program has funded revitalization in low-income communities across the country. This awarding of funds is the last without congressional action after the NMTC program expired in 2014. The Senate Finance Committee has formed working groups on the program and is working to get the credit extended indefinitely. NHC supports the NMTC program and would like to see it extended. We’re closely monitoring congressional action around the New Markets Tax credit Extension Act of 2015. 

LIIF and LISC were among 76 total organizations awarded $3.5 billion in tax credit allocations by the U.S. Treasury. Nancy Andrews of LIIF co-chaired NHC’s Annual Gala this year. 

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