HOWARD J. SMITH, PRINCIPAL
Howard J. Smith, Principal, co-founded Smith NMTC Associates, LLC in 2006. The firm began with Howard’s new idea of applying New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) to “for-sale” affordable housing as a funding vehicle for Habitat for Humanity affiliates. Howard, and partner Donna Smith, took his idea to NMTC officials at US Bancorp Community Development Corporation, and put together a working model. The resulting partnership between Habitat for Humanity International, Inc. (HFHI) and Smith NMTC became the first national for-sale affordable housing tax credit, deploying more than $100 million in NMTC through HFHI-SA NMTC I LLC, a Community Development Entity (CDE), owned and managed with and for Habitat for Humanity International by Smith.
Unique to the industry, the Smith NMTC Model aggregates Qualified Active Low Income Community Businesses (QALICBs) to deploy Qualified Low Income Community Investments (QLICIs) as small as $500k per QLICI to build a threshold total transaction of $5M or higher; keeping transaction costs low and benefits to QALICBs high. The streamlined due diligence and systemized processes of the Smith NMTC Model also significantly reduces transaction costs. To read an article discussing this unique model, click here.
Formerly a practicing attorney, CFO at a regional realty company; and Development Counsel at a national design-builder, Howard draws on 30 years’ experience in real estate development law, finance, construction and a JD from Washington University School of Law.
Howard also served as president, general counsel and a member of the Habitat for Humanity St. Louis board of directors for over 20 years; and in 1999, he was among three attorneys in Missouri to be awarded the Pro Bono Publico Award for his work in affordable housing issues throughout the state. He also has served on the board of directors and as president of Central Reform Congregation in the City of St. Louis; and, for 7 years as adjunct professor at St. Louis University Law School teaching Advanced Real Estate Transactions.
In 2011, Howard and partner Donna established the Communities Opportunities Fund, (COF) a CDE focused on broader community building opportunities to further expand the successful impact of the Smith NMTC Model and explore additional sustainable business models in and beyond affordable housing initiatives.