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The California and Federal Historic Tax Credits: Historic Tax Credit Equity as a Financing Tool

Join us for an in-depth session on the Federal and California Historic Tax Credit for historic building rehabilitation.  Session participants will learn about the federal and state tax credit program, its guidelines, how they work, and the application process. A discussion on structuring a deal, financing, the investor’s perspective will be covered.  Case studies will show how the incentive can help a rehabilitation project work financially, especially in cases where it may not pencil out without the credit. You’ll also learn what is required for a property to qualify for federal and state tax credits and the important areas of focus in preparing a successful application.


Antonio Aguilar, Historical Architect, National Park Service Technical Preservation Services. Antonio has been with the Technical Preservation Services, National Park Service Headquarters in Washington, DC since 2000. He provides technical assistance and review for projects applying for the 20% Federal Tax Credit Program for Historic Rehabilitation. He also contributes to the development of policies and guidance on the application and interpretation of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for  Rehabilitation, as well as on the treatment of historic properties and materials. Among the publications he has authored is Preservation Brief #41, The Seismic Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings. He received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Roy Chou is a partner in the San Francisco office of Novogradac. Mr. Chou has extensive experience in real estate, affordable housing, historic preservation and community development. He specializes in new markets tax credit (NMTC), historic rehabilitation tax credit (HTC) and opportunity zones (OZ) incentive transactions. He provides numerous accounting and consulting services, including audit and attestation, tax preparation and financial forecasting. In addition, Mr. Chou advises investors, syndicators and developers on structuring, tax planning, financing, and compliance and regulatory matters. He is a frequent speaker at industry-sponsored conferences and workshops and serves as the technical editor for the Novogradac Historic Rehabilitation Handbook. Mr. Chou has contributed articles to various publications, including the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with concentrations in accounting and finance from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Mr. Chou is licensed in California as a certified public accountant.

Cindy Hamilton is president of Heritage Consulting Group, a national historic tax credit consulting firm based in Philadelphia. Ms. Hamilton develops strategies for owners to maximize rehabilitation incentives and represents clients in negotiations through all aspects of the historic tax credit review process. With over thirty years of experience in the industry, Ms. Hamilton has consulted on hundreds of historic rehabilitation projects throughout the nation. Ms. Hamilton received a B.S in Environmental Design and Planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.

Cindy Heitzman is the Executive Director of the California Preservation Foundation, the only statewide historic preservation organization whose mission is to educate and advocate for the protection of California's historic resources. Cindy worked on behalf of the California Preservation Foundation and its partners to pass SB 451, California's Historic Tax Credit in 2019. Prior to joining CPF, she worked in code enforcement for the City of Napa as the Senior Building Inspector and the City of St. Helena as the Buidling Official and Fire Marshal. She served as the President of Napa County Landmarks, Vice President of the California Preservation Foundation, President of the Redwood Empire Association of Code Officials, Chair of the California Building Officials Committee on Historic Codes and Commissioner, on the California Building Officials Training Institute. She holds a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from California State University, Chico.

Tyler Ohanian focuses his practice on real estate transactions and community economic development, specializing in tax credit finance, real estate finance, opportunity zone investment and general real estate transactions. He has been recognized as a “Southern California Rising Star” by Super Lawyers each year from 2018 through 2021.

Prior to joining Buchalter, Tyler practiced with the law firm Heller Ehrman LLP. During law school and college, he worked as a legal intern at the United States Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C. and the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Keith Pettus joined Chase in July 2018 as an Executive Director focused on the growth and management of the Historic Tax Credit Equity investment portfolio. The Community Development Tax Credits team sits within the Community Development Bank. Investing in Historic Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits at the Federal and State levels on behalf of Chase as an offset to tax appetite, and to further the investment in our communities. These impactful investments may be in conjunction with Community Development Real Estate construction financing, twinned with New Markets Tax Credits, or focus on expanding workforce and affordable housing throughout the nation.

Prior to Chase, Keith spent five years at a broker and syndicator of tax credit transactions, developing a subject matter expertise in Historic Tax Credits. Chase became a client of his during this time.

He graduated from Lehigh University with a B.S. Industrial Engineering and has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst, and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations. He is based in the San Francisco Office, lives in Marin County with his family and travels to projects regularly.