2018 was a year of figuring things out. We knew going into 2018 that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act had become law and the Housing Credit program was alive and well, but the new law meant there would be changes to the Housing Credit program and there was uncertainty concerning investor demand for tax credits now that investors had a reduced tax liability. What NASLEF members came to realize was the strength of the tax credit program carried over into 2018 and investors continued their support of the program.
In 2018, the twelve NASLEF organizations raised over $1B in equity and that translates to nearly 10,000 units of housing. In terms of footprint, NASLEF members work in forty-two states and serve a range of communities. NASLEF members have long had the reputation for placing investments in markets that others may not focus on. The strength of our portfolios is a testament to our ability to serve such a range of tenant populations and communities. When Fannie and Freddie reentered the market in 2018 with the goal of investing in underserved markets, they teamed up with a number of NASLEF organizations to meet that goal.
NASLEF members have always valued the collegial relationships that have developed among members. The sharing of information and the open communication happens on a regular basis but it is particularly evident at our annual conference. This year we met in Boston and Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation did a wonderful job hosting us. For those that have attended other NASLEF conferences, it’s plain to see that these conferences have evolved, consistent with the evolution of NASLEF member organizations. We now focus on a much wider range of topics such as business diversification and staff development.
Of course, our advocacy efforts have made NASLEF unique and set us apart from others in the industry. We continue to offer our unique local knowledge to inform affordable housing policy at the state and national level.
Nevertheless, all of our good work needs to continue. The Housing Credit program has succeeded beyond what we may all have expected. However, we need to continue to protect this critical program and increase its efficiency while diligently preserving the number of units that have been created by the program. Clearly, our work is far from done as we see increasing demand for affordable housing and we witness the increasing number of people that are economically burdened with rent payments.
In 2019, expect NASLEF and its members to continue advocating for all those that need affordable housing. We will continue working with all our partners to produce and preserve housing that is so critical to the lives of the people that need it and to the communities in which they live.