Cynthia Bast is nationally recognized as a preeminent lawyer in the area of affordable housing and community development finance and leads the Firm's Affordable Housing Section. She calls upon her vast experience, including experience in the areas described below, as a frequent speaker at conferences across the country. Cynthia has been named in The Best Lawyers in America for Real Estate Law and in Chambers USA for 2016-2020. She is also a member of the Firm's Board of Directors.
Cynthia assists clients with complex affordable housing and community development transactions using a variety of financing tools, including housing tax credits (LIHTC), tax-exempt bonds, HUD programs, and other federal, state, and local resources. Throughout her career, she has worked on hundreds of transactions involving housing in Texas and other states. Her clients include for-profit and non-profit developers, investors, and governmental agencies.
In addition to her transactional work, Cynthia actively represents clients before relevant governmental authorities and advocates for affordable housing issues with the Texas Legislature. Much of her work in this area is devoted to helping clients with matters before the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. In that capacity, she guides clients through critical appeals to the TDHCA Board and other administrative or compliance matters.
Qualified contracts, rights of first refusal and options intersect as owners and investors try to determine the best scenario for refinancing and restructuring their housing tax credit properties. Cynthia has a particular interest in the issues associated with the end of the housing tax credit compliance period and the preservation of affordable housing.
Workouts and Troubled Assets
When affordable housing properties become troubled, Cynthia advises clients on creative solutions. Such solutions may include employing tax exemptions, restructuring existing financing, finding new soft financing, changing an ownership structure, or pursuing foreclosure. Whether the clients are owners, investors, or lenders, she brings an understanding of the complex regulatory overlay that is necessary to work out an affordable housing finance transaction.
- Negotiating debt and equity financing documents for hundreds of housing tax credit transactions nationwide
- Structuring and documenting complex transactions with multiple layers of financing, including HOME funds, CDBG funds, RAD, HOPE VI money, and other federal, state, and local sources
- Representing buyers and sellers of affordable housing properties, before and after their compliance periods
- Financing workforce housing without federal subsidy
- Advocating for clients before the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs on critical matters involving housing tax credit applications, underwriting issues, and compliance matters for particular properties
- Assisting clients with formulating strategies for work outs, including revision of existing financing agreements, identification of new financing, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, foreclosure, general partner removal, and various kinds of settlements and releases
- Assisting with creation and structuring of tax-exempt organizations doing affordable housing and community development work, ad valorem tax exemption, sales tax exemption, and CHDO certification
Professional Affiliations and Recognitions
- Recognized, Texas Trailblazer, Texas Lawyer (2020)
- Awarded, Jean W. MacDonald Lifetime Achievement Award by Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP) (2014)
- Recognized in Chambers USA (2016-2020) - Real Estate
- Named in The Best Lawyers in America for Real Estate Law (2019-2021)
- Named, "Super Lawyer" by Texas Monthly magazine (2008-2011, 2014-2019)
- Sustaining Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
- Member, American Bar Association, Affordable Housing and Community Development Law Forum
- Member, State Bar of Texas
- Member, Austin Bar Association
- Former Chair, Texas Community Building With Attorney Resources
- Travis County Women Lawyer's Association Corporate/Transactional Attorney Award in 2016 and Pro Bono Award in 2003
- National Advisory Board, Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation
- Advisory Board, Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation
- Pro Bono Volunteer, Texas Community Building with Attorney Resources