Unlike many of the housing conferences I attend where the focus is national and where there are a broad range of attendees, this conference is focused exclusively on housing in Arizona. Almost all of the people attending are property owners and managers working in Arizona.
With our software’s focus on data we can easily miss the story of what is happening on the ground: the real impact of the housing that state agencies help produce and that they monitor. It was inspiring to hear, in the opening talk, how the homeless rate has been declining in AZ as a result of the state’s initiatives; how prisoners are being helped to transition back into society; how temporary shelters and meals are facilitated by state programs. All attendees are part of the solution and passionate about providing a service in addition to running a successful business.
In the session Happening on the Hill, three people who work closely with Congress spoke about the budget and the likelihood of passage of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. As for the legislation, there is strong and growing bipartisan support for housing and for the bill that would, among other things, increase the per-capita 9% credit amount from the current $2.70 per year to $5.40 over a five-year period. The bill would also fix the 4% Rate at 4% similar to what was done with the 9% rate a while back. There are twenty-some provisions in the bill and the speakers were optimistic that at least the two financial items mentioned above will find their way into law by January. If that does not happen, nothing is likely to move until after the presidential election. They are also hopeful that Congress will pass spending bills before the end of the year.
On Wednesday morning I showed about 15 owner/agents the external NextGen user interface: how to log in; the various navigation options; where to find the documentation; how to upload NAHMA XML files; how to add units; how to add and edit certifications. Arizona has recently implemented NextGen and their next tax credit reporting cycle starts after the new year.