The tax credit arena has always been a crowded one, but things are getting even cozier these days. Given the demand for affordable housing, many state and local government employees are leaving public service and becoming consultants, where they help developers and nonprofits move into this active housing sector. “It's very competitive and it's very aggressive,” says Bob Moss, director of originations and senior vice president for Boston Capital, a large multifamily owner in Boston. “A lot of new developers that didn't do tax credits before [are] applying for 9 percent credits. We're seeing a lot of new faces.”

At the same time as they face increased competition, those involved in affordable housing are keeping watch on the feds and their plans for the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program, which relies on corporations buying the credits to reduce their own tax bills. “We are working [with Sen.] Olympia Snowe to make sure [the] tax credit [program] is not a baby thrown out with the bathwater during tax reform,” Moss says. “The Presidential Tax Commission is holding meetings and hearings. There are a lot of affordable people concerned that the LIHTC will not survive if there's corporate tax reform.”

But Moss thinks there's no reason to panic just yet. “I believe that we may have an opportunity to make corrections should there be tax reforms,” he says. “If you look back at 1986, we got Section 42 into the code to produce the LIHTC.”