It’s been a rough year. In just the past few months, we witnessed a series of hurricanes blow apart Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and other parts of the Southeast. We then had devastating fires sweep through California, destroying thousands and thousands of homes. In Santa Rosa alone, roughly 6,700 homes and businesses were lost in the flames, an estimated 5% of the city’s entire housing stock. It’s a staggering loss for the individual families that have been affected as well as the larger community, an already tight housing market. It’s hard to find any kind of silver linings in these catastrophes, but if there is one, it’s that we have the tools needed to recover. Twelve years ago, lawmakers leveraged the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program to rebuild needed affordable housing in Louisiana, Mississippi, and other areas after they were struck by Hurricane Katrina and other storms. Congress increased the amount of LIHTCs available in these regions to spur billions of dollars in investment so housing could be rebuilt.
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