Our History

NALHFA carries a proud history in the housing finance industry. For more than 35 years, our organization has played a crucial role in educating our members, advancing the industry forward, and more. Learn more about our deep history and how we have impacted the local housing finance.

The Early Days

  • The Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies is founded in December 1982
  • NALHFA holds its first national conference on Affordable Housing Finance in Los Angeles in the Spring of 1993. It held two educational conferences per year from that date until 2010.
  • NALHFA retains SmithBucklin as its association management partner; Susan Finn appointed Executive Director in 1984.
  • NALHFA approves the appointment of John Murphy as Executive Director; retains Hilary Rosen as Legislative Counsel in January 1985.
  • NALHFA successfully lobbies to maintain tax code incentives (tax exempt single- and multifamily housing bonds) that stimulate private investment in affordable housing in 1985 and 1986. The 1986 Tax Act put important new restrictions on tax-exempt bond private activity financing including placing those for housing under a single statewide volume cap and added Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for multifamily housing.
  • NALHFA appoints John Murphy as chief lobbyist in addition to his role as Executive Director in 1987.
  • Authority to issue tax-exempt housing bonds was assumed to “sunset” after 1987. NALHFA and its industry partners successfully lobbied to temporarily extend the sunset date for housing bonds and tax credits several times before succeeding in achieving permanency for both in 1992.
  • NALHFA and its industry partners successfully lobby to enact the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the centerpiece of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 including allocation of 60% of these block grant funds to metropolitan cities and urban counties, 40% to states.
  • NALHFA annually lobbied to protect tax incentives for affordable housing and secure adequate appropriations for HUD housing programs – Community Development Block Grants and HOME funds) from 1985 to the present.
  • NALHFA provided comments on a variety of proposed federal regulations affecting affordable housing programs issued by Treasury, HUD, Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Federal Reserve from 1985 to the present.
  • NALHFA leads the way for the creation and development of the Rich Sharing Program with HUD for local HFAs in 1994.


  • NALHFA and other organizations representing state and local government elected and appointed officials form the National Affordable Housing Training to compete successfully with private entities for federal training under the HOME program in 1995. NALHFA received funding annually until 2010.
  • NALHFA and its industry partners successfully lobbied Congress to increase the unified state volume caps on the issuance of tax-exempt private activity bonds (including those for single-family and multifamily housing) and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits in 2000.
  • NALHFA creates technical assistance workshops using HOME funds to instruct members and others on the basics of affordable multifamily housing in 1997.
  • NALHFA creates Bonds for Beginners workshop to be held principally at conferences and taught by NALHFA Past President Mtumishi St. Julien, former Executive Director of the Finance Authority of New Orleans.
  • NALHFA publishes Bonds for Beginners, an introductory guide to the basis of tax-exempt housing bond finance. The second edition was published in 2008.
  • NALHFA and its industry partners lobby for approximately $13 billion in funding for housing programs under the Obama Administration's fiscal stimulus Act of 2009.
  • NALHFA successfully lobbied the Department of Treasury to include local housing finance agencies in a program whereby Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought $13 billion in tax-exempt single-family and multifamily housing bonds at a time when the private market for them had shut down due to the housing crisis in 2009.
  • NALHFA submits comments on a multitude of regulations affecting tax-exempt bonds issued by various federal agencies implementing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Our Recent History

  • NALHFA Executive Director John Murphy announces his retirement after 29 years at the end of 2014. Jason Boehlert is appointed as his successor. Jason resigns at the end of August 2015.
  • Jonathan M. Paine, CAE appointed as Interim Executive Director on February 6, 2017 and is officially appointed as Executive Director on June 30, 2017.
  • Kevin McKenney joins NALHFA as its new Director of Government Affairs in June of 2020.
  • Throughout 2020, NALHFA navigated the COVID 19 health crises, provided critical information to its membership and held a successful virtual annual conference with over 300 attendees.
  • NALHFA government relations team worked with its coalition partners to get Congress to increase funding for Affordable Housing Programs, provide emergency rental assistance, and mortgage forbearance.
  • NALHFA scores major victory with other affordable housing advocates, including the ACTION campaign, to pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) in 2020, which sets the minimum 4% credit rate among other changes. The inclusion of the 4% rate is a reflection of the strong bipartisan support the AHCIA achieved this year. This is a major victory for NALHFA and its coalition partners who have worked relentlessly the past two years to see the inclusion of the 4% rate.
  • The American Rescue Plan was passed by Congress in 2021 and contained several NALHFA-backed priorities to assist those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These priorities range from emergency rental assistance, fair housing, $1,400 relief checks and more. This version of the legislation extends the existing $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits through Sept. 6 and the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits would be tax-free for households earning less than $150,000. In particular, NALHFA secured an important victory with the inclusion of emergency rental assistance funding, a crucial priority that has been a consistent focus for NALHFA since early 2020.
  •  NALHFA was successful in its efforts to have the HUD & FFB Risk Sharing Partnership reinstated. The agreement will provide low-cost Ginnie Mae-comparable rates to HFAs that finance affordable housing development, enabling the development of new quality and affordable housing. NALHFA worked closely with HUD and other groups to advocate strongly for the program’s reinstatement.
  • NALHFA was successful in advocating for the reinstatement of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule by HUD.  In 2015, HUD promulgated a rule that compelled each covered funding recipient to undertake a defined fair housing planning process, including a requirement to complete an assessment of fair housing issues, identify fair housing priorities and goals, and then commit to meaningful actions to meet those goals. In 2020, the rule’s implementation was suspended and redefined.  NALHFA lobbied HUD to reinstate the Rule, which was achieved in June of 2021.
  • NALHFA held its first in-person Annual Conference in two years in New York City, hosted by the New York City Housing Development Corporation in April 2022. The conference theme, "Building the Future of Affordable Housing," welcomed an esteemed line up of panels and featured keynote speakers filled with innovators and industry leaders. The conference saw record attendance with over 337 attendees and had record sponsorships.