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HOUSING ADVOCATES CELEBRATE SIX-MONTH TAX CREDIT EXTENSION; VOW TO RETURN IN SPRING TO MAKE IT PERMANENT

 HOUSING ADVOCATES CELEBRATE SIX-MONTH TAX CREDIT EXTENSION;
 VOW TO RETURN IN SPRING TO MAKE IT PERMANENT
 CHICAGO, Nov. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Responding to news that the nation's primary program for financing low income rental housing production -- the low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) -- has won a six-month extension, housing advocates expressed relief and vowed to return to Congress to ensure a permanent extension. the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) announced today.
 "We are greatly relieved that Congress prevented the expiration of the LIHTC. Not only will thousands of units of affordable housing be saved, but passage also signifies that Congress understands how destructive even a temporary disruption of the LIHTC would be," said Paul Grogan, president of the Local Initiatives Support Corp., the nation's largest non-profit community development support organization, whose affiliate, the National Equity Fund (NEF), is the nation's largest syndicator of tax credits.
 Grogan said that with the six-month extension, users of the LIHTC should be able to produce at least 75,000 units -- or more than half the number that would be created by a full year's extension.
 "However," Grogan cautioned, "for the program to be fully effective, for it to produce housing in the most timely and efficient manner, there must be an environment of certainty in which both the developers and the investors can continue necessary planning. So in the Spring, we will be back to sure the permanent extension that the LIHTC needs -- and deserves."
 Doug Guthrie, president of NEF, agrees. "The six-month extension is certainly welcome, but the time limit will make it more difficult this year to raise th ?needed funds and secure full financing for developments. However, given the broad support for the LIHTC, we remain hopeful that Congress will remedy the problems as early as possible next year and make the LIHTC permanent," said Guthrie.
 Passed as part of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, with one-year extensions legislated in both 1989 and 1990, the LIHTC is now responsible for 94 percent of all low income rental housing being produced nationwide. While the credit is immensely popular and well-regarded, in each of the past three years the LIHTC has been denied permanent extension due to other national political issues.
 This year, legislation calling for permanent extension had the support of 320 congressmen and 81 senators, as well as the support of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Governors along with hundreds of community, civic and housing advocacy organizations.
 Grogan said that the uncertainty of the LIHTC over the past three years underscores the need for its permanent extension. "The impact of this legislation on the nation's housing and on peoples' lives is enormous. It is time to end this year-to-year guessing game; time to debate the LIHTC on its proven merits; and time to make the credit permanent."
 Since it was established in 1987, LISC's National Equity Fund has raised $269 million from leading U.S. corporations, which in turn have been invested in 8,400 units of housing developed by non-profit developers in 33 cities, worth over $750 million.
 -0- 11/27/91
 /CONTACT: Marilyn Katz, 312-944-5706, or Joan Lebow, 212-455-9826, both of the National Equity Fund/ CO: Local Initiatives Support Corp. ST: Illinois IN: SU:


TS -- NY012 -- 7686 11/27/91 10:41 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 27, 1991
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