As disappointing as it was to read of the indictment of a low-income-housing syndicator for allegedly misusing the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program ("Beverly Hills Man Indicted on Housing Fraud, May 18), it is critical for the public to understand how important and useful these credits are when administered properly and ethically.
They are, in fact, one of the few government subsidies that work exactly as they are supposed to, providing the means to develop badly needed affordable housing as well as creating significant income tax offsets for people and companies who invest in that housing. It is, in every respect, a win-win program whose success Congress recognized when it made the credit permanent in 1993.
Just within the past two years, our company has applied more than $100 million in housing tax credits toward the development of thousands of affordable apartment units for senior citizens as well as families. This is not "welfare" housing, but decent homes for people like teachers, firefighters and office workers.
Four such recently completed apartment communities, located in Claremont, Anaheim, and Columbus and Middletown, Ohio, were completely leased within a matter of weeks, reflecting the tremendous demand for affordable housing.
Were it not for the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, those communities would simply not have been built. It would be a grievous loss for the nation if this beneficial program was jeopardized by one isolated incident of alleged abuse.
DAVID P. COLLINS
Executive vice president
ARV Housing Group Inc.