On balance, 2019 was another solid year for NASLEF members and the continuing success of the Housing Credit program. Compared to recent years, 2019 was stable with continuing strong support from investors and no major events negatively affecting the Housing Credit program. In fact, the Housing Credit program is garnering increasing bipartisan political support and the success of the program is being talked about more now than ever before.
I always thought the NASLEF tag line, Local Presence, National Impact said volumes about NASLEF and the work we do. In this report you’ll see that a dozen organizations working in 41 states have consistently invested $1 billion dollars annually which translates to roughly 10,000 units of affordable housing a year. Because of our local focus and our connection to the communities we serve, we are often asked to invest in developments that might otherwise not get funded. Nevertheless, our portfolios have always compared favorably with industry benchmarks.
As an organization, NASLEF is evolving. For all the reasons NASLEF members came together to better understand how the LIHTC program might work and how they could deploy it locally to create affordable housing, NASLEF members are leveraging their skills and resources to complement their syndication work. As an example, many NASLEF members are actively developing community development lending platforms, others have taken on property management and others have been active in New Market Tax Credits. There is one constant in all this and that is the free exchange of information among members. It happens at many levels – smaller meetings of NASLEF members focused on asset management, fund management, corporate administration and emerging leaders or at our national conference. Last fall Ohio Capital Corporation hosted a very successful, national conference in Cleveland. In 2020, CAHEC will host us all in Nashville.
The continuing success of the Housing Credit program and NASLEF members evolving to expand their impact is directly related to the ever-increasing need for affordable housing. People continually have difficulty finding affordable housing and when they do find housing, the cost of that housing limits their ability to afford other essential household expenses. Congress and others are now more than ever coming to view affordable housing as something that is fundamental.
This all means that NASLEF members can take a certain amount of pride in championing a response to the acute need for affordable housing. Going forward, NASLEF members will find themselves uniquely positioned to be part of the ever-broadening coalition concerned about housing needs. NASLEF members will surely continue to shape how others view housing and work to provide housing to those that need it the most.