Rick A. Lazio

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Raising the Roof at the Presidential Convention

I was a guest on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning with former Governor Howard Dean discussing the just completed Republican and Democratic presidential convention. I attended the Republican convention and co-hosted a fundraising event and concert which was intended to raise awareness about the growing affordable housing crisis in the United States. Aided by award … Continue Reading

Raising the Volume on America’s Rental Affordability Crisis

Rick A. Lazio, a partner on the firm’s Affordable Housing Team in the firm’s New York office, recently co-authored the article “We need to raise the volume on America’s rental affordability crisis” in HousingWire magazine. The article discusses the need to bring attention to the rental affordability crisis at the local and national level. Rick … Continue Reading

Rents are too high, but candidates duck the issue

Given that 20 million families are spending more than 50% of their income on housing in America and the silent affordable housing crisis grows each day, I’m greatly disappointed that the topic of affordable housing has been absent from the presidential debates. Not one question. This is the time when we must challenge our candidates … Continue Reading

Washington Beats Campaign Silly Season with New Tax Package

Among the 52 expiring federal tax code provisions that were considered by congress this past December, several were signed into law and are of importance to the real estate industry. The final “tax extender” package included measures that boosted affordable  housing, energy efficiency and leasehold improvements as well as reforms to the Foreign Investment in … Continue Reading

Decision Time for LIHTC Floors

One of several uncertainties facing developers and their financial partners in LIHTC transactions is the precise equity that can be generated by each dollar in federal low income tax credits.  Of course, some of this uncertainty is a result of basic market forces, including the demand by CRA investors. However, there is another risk which … Continue Reading

Wanted: A comprehensive housing strategy

Rick Lazio’s op-ed  “Wanted:  A comprehensive housing strategy” published today in The Hill:  As recently reported by the National Association of Realtors, the share of first-time homebuyers is approaching a 30-year low. But the striking absence of these buyers in the market today is not the result of shifting aspirations. Surveys consistently show that young adults, those who … Continue Reading

Visit of Pope Francis & Opportunity it Creates for Housing Advocates

Housing advocates are applauding Pope Francis’ powerful message during his U.S. tour that “there is no social or moral justification, no justification whatsoever, for lack of housing.”  His words were amplified by his choice to move out of the power corridors of the nation’s Capitol and join 300 homeless people.   The Pope’s exhortation that … Continue Reading

Federal Visa Program is an Innovative Financial Tool

Given the increasing pressure on various gap financing tools such as the federal HOME program as well as state and local programs, affordable housing developers should be exploring innovative sources of funding. One program which has been used by some of the most successful conventional real estate developers is the federal EB-5 Visa program. The … Continue Reading

The Silent Housing Crisis

Last Thursday, June 18, 2015, the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families announced the launch of their multi-year effort to elevate America’s silent affordable housing crisis to the national political agenda. The Foundation was created last year by Ron Terwilliger, the former CEO of Trammel Crow Residential, who has been responsible for the … Continue Reading

Innovative Zoning Amendments Encourage Development and Preservation of Affordable Housing

As New York City Mayor DeBlasio works to fulfill his ambitious and laudable goal of creating and preserving 200,000 affordable housing units, his administration is exploring new and creative ways to meet the goal.   The City Planning Commission is now leading the way and taking on some of the existing hurdles and “sacred cows” of … Continue Reading

A Look in to the Crystal Ball of Residential Lending

Jones Walker held its inaugural Financial Services conference on February 4 in Washington, D.C. Among other notable attendees, the event drew two of Congress’s most powerful voices on banking issues, Sen. Richard Shelby, Chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Chairman of the House Committee on Financial … Continue Reading