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Stephanie Tubbs Jones' victory for urban and historic restoration

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/22/08 @ 2:09pm

Cleveland native Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a leader from and of the people. She fought innumerable battles for the little guy, and she genuinely touched the lives of working people in Northeast Ohio.

An article in this week's Crain's Cleveland Business about one of Congresswoman Tubbs Jones' most recent legislative victories caught our eye: She's credited with getting key changes in the federal historic tax credits passed that will make it easier for nonprofit groups to use it. Many non-profit community development groups in Cleveland may be in a better position to green light plans to restore historically significant buildings for mixed-income or supportive housing since the bill allows them to occupy 50% of the space (the old rule limited nonprofit tenants to 35%). The provision, part of the housing stimulus bill, also allows developers to combine historic and low income housing tax credits. The other change is to allow high-income taxpayers subject to the alternative minimum tax to use the credit.

"These are the first (positive) changes in the tax credit since 1978," said Patrick Lally of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Opportunity for historic restoration and the need for better housing often intersect precisely in urban areas like Cleveland.

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