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NR 2009-113
Contact: Dean DeBuck
(202) 874-5770

OCC Receives NASLEF Leadership Award

ST. LOUIS — Today the National Association of State and Local Equity Funds (NASLEF) presented its 2009 Leadership Award to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for its nationwide efforts to educate banks about the mechanics of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit investing. OCC's Deputy Comptroller for Community Affairs Barry R. Wides accepted the award on behalf of the agency.

In remarks to approximately 150 state and local tax credit equity fund managers, Mr. Wides focused on the benefits of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and the need to fill the financing gaps that have slowed affordable housing development in many parts of the country.

"Over the past two decades, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program has financed nearly two million low-income housing units, and induced billions of dollars of private investment," he said in his remarks. "When carefully implemented, financing LIHTC properties provides banks with both economic and regulatory benefits, including positive consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act."

"The OCC has been holding seminars around the country in conjunction with the other bank regulatory agencies and the Federal Home Loan Banks to educate bankers about the LIHTC program and the new investment opportunities presented by recent legislation and changing market conditions," Mr. Wides said. "These events, held in seven locations around the country, and our telephone seminar have reached over 1,000 bankers."

The OCC will be holding its next seminar in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 23 in partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Additional events are planned later this year and in 2010.

To provide banks with easy access to information and best practices, the OCC has created a number of fact sheets, resource guides, and directories that can be found on the OCC's Web site.

The OCC's Community Affairs Officers, who are stationed throughout the country, are also available to answer questions and provide resource materials to national banks interested in learning more about LIHTC investment opportunities.

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