LOCUS developers to meet in Washington, DC next week and call for overhaul of federal real estate programs

LOCUS Winter Meeting
LOCUS members gathered earlier this year at the coalition’s winter meeting.

Federal real estate programs could be doing more for families, taxpayers and communities, and a national coalition of real estate developers and investors will convene in Washington, DC next week to advocate for changes to these enormous programs.

Members of LOCUS, Smart Growth America’s coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors, will gather in Washington on October 8 and 9, 2013 to meet with members of Congress and to advocate for reforms to federal real estate programs that could broaden housing opportunities, revitalize cities and towns nationwide while saving taxpayers upwards of $33 billion a year.

“Congress is obviously embattled right now over spending, and the shutdown is only the most recent manifestation of that,” said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. “Our proposals could save the government upwards of $33 billion a year while making it easier for families to save for their first down payment and revitalizing communities across the country. These changes are worth Congress’s attention for both those reasons.”

In July 2013, Smart Growth America and LOCUS published Federal Involvement in Real Estate: A Call for Action, a comprehensive set of recommendations designed to improve federal real estate programs. The report included seven proposed reforms. The upcoming LOCUS event in will focus on three of them: enhancing the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, improving the Rehabilitation Tax Credit and creating individual mortgage savings accounts for prospective homebuyers.

“Developers are seeing a profound shift in the U.S. real estate market,” said Chris Leinberger, President of LOCUS. “Americans increasingly want to live in walkable places, whether in city centers, select suburbs or small towns, but today’s federal programs hamper developers’ ability to meet that demand. Not only that, but these programs are costing taxpayers billions of dollars. These programs clearly need to change.”

Real estate programs cost the federal government an average of $450 billion a year. From loan guarantees to commercial tax credits, these programs help families purchase their first home, help those most in need pay their rent and aid community redevelopment, along with many other things.

Learn more about our call for reform. Or, join LOCUS’s call for action by sending a letter to your members of Congress today.