icon Blueprint for April

“Bend the Curve”

3 min read

As I write this month’s Blueprint, we are celebrating Women’s History Month, Spring has sprung and I just had the privilege of watching a National Housing & Rehabilitation Association member interview Gloria Steinem for his webcast. At 90, Steinem has not lost a beat. She is as eloquent, thought-provoking and inspiring as ever.

The confluence of all these things has me feeling remarkably sanguine and a Gabe Dixon song is playing on repeat in my head, “Bend the Curve.”

This toe-tapping song is about being courageous and speaking and acting for what is right and just. The last stanza of the song says,

“Bend the curve
It’s gonna bend toward justice
But it’s gonna take more of us
To do this work.”

“It’s gonna take more of us to do this work,” so very true. But the song’s hook, “Bend the curve,” is what sticks with me. It conveys the resilience it takes to make things better. It’s the empowerment of decision-making, in cooperating and helping one another.

But it’s not simply Steinem’s joie de vivre that caused this song to pop into my head. It is also all the positive progress being made in the industry. Reports of state and federal leaders devoting significant time and attention to the ongoing housing crisis are invigorating.

This issue of Tax Credit Advisor shows what bending the curve looks like when we work together.

On the federal level, a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development pilot program, a cautiously optimistic U.S. Tax Court ruling and the indefinite extension of the Federal Financing Bank/Housing Finance Agency Risk-Share program, as well as updates to two COVID-era programs will make it easier to build and preserve affordable housing. (Industry Insights)

In his State of the Union address, President Biden called on Congress to enact his plan to “build and renovate two million affordable homes and bring…rents down.” Then the “Biden administration released its Fiscal Year 2025 Budget, which would expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, fund a new Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit and incentivize the creation of additional housing supply by setting aside $20 billion for competitive grants to fund the development pipeline.” Further, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024. (Legally Speaking)

On the state level, Minnesota is now accepting individual contributions to the State Housing Tax Credit program and Contribution fund. (Taxpayer Donations Bolster Affordable Housing) Colorado’s new Land Banking program “aims to help developers purchase land for affordable housing, solving the unique problem of not having tax credits to purchase land, as well as creating access to development in rural areas.” (New Program Facilitates Land Purchasing for Affordable Housing) And, in general, State LIHTC programs are growing and evolving into an essential part of the capital stack. (Innovative LIHTC Programs Become a Powerful New Tool)

So, “bend the curve…it’s gonna take more of us to do this work.”

Jessica Hoefer