Sonia A. Nayak

Sonia Nayak’s practice centers on real estate development and financing, including new markets tax credits, affordable housing and commercial lending.

What do you focus on?

Real Estate Financing and Development

Much of my work involves bringing private capital to community and affordable housing development projects in California and nationwide. For example, I help investors—large financial institutions, regional banks and funds—leverage unique financing structures and tools to infuse development projects with the capital needed to bring critical services to underserved neighborhoods and communities. These development projects use financing programs such as the federal low-income housing tax credit and new markets tax credit, and include affordable multifamily rental housing complexes, health care facilities, charter schools, cultural and community centers and research and technology incubator facilities.

I also work with developers, particularly in and around the Los Angeles area, helping them to acquire, finance, develop and manage their real estate assets. These assets include office buildings, industrial/manufacturing sites and other commercial real estate properties, as well as multifamily housing developments.

For me, it’s rewarding to drive through my city—or even travel to other parts of the country where projects I’ve worked on are located—and know the story and the people behind these important developments, and to see how these developments can positively impact the surrounding community.

New Markets Tax Credits

Much of my work involves bringing capital—in the form of new markets tax credit financing—to new businesses looking to operate in low-income neighborhoods throughout the country. My representation includes investors, lenders, community development entities and qualified borrowers.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credits

I also work with investors, financial institutions and developers on low-income housing tax credit transactions, the proceeds of which help finance affordable housing developments. Having formerly worked at AIG SunAmerica, I understand investors’ goals and the legal intricacies necessary to achieve those goals.

What do you see on the horizon?

In light of recent tax reform, the collaboration between public and private entities will become vital to financing and constructing community development and affordable housing projects.


  • “Wind Downs,” New Markets Tax Credit Spring Conference, Washington, DC, June 6, 2019
  • “New Strategies for Funding Capital Projects,” Government Finance Officers Association 113th Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA, May 20, 2019
  • Novogradac NMTC Conference, San Diego, January 24-25, 2019
  • “Opportunity Zones—What’s New in Community Development,” Nixon Peabody MCLE Marathon, Los Angeles, January 17, 2019
  • “Academic & Professional Skills for US Law Studies,” Guest Lecturer, USC Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, CA, October 12, 2018
  • “Leveraging Opportunity Zones to Finance Rental Housing,” 27th Annual Affordable Housing and Community Development Conference, San Diego, CA, October 4, 2018
  • “Recent tax law changes that affect investing in Qualified Opportunity Zones,” Family Office Association Conference - Los Angeles, October 2, 2018
  • “Leverage Sources,” Novogradac 2018 New Markets Tax Credit Conference, January 25, 2018
  • “44 Years Later: The 1984 and 2028 Los Angeles Olympics—A Discussion of the Developmental Landscape in Los Angeles, Then and Now,” Nixon Peabody Annual MCLE Seminar, Los Angeles, January 18, 2018
  • “New Markets Tax Credit 202 Workshop,” CohnReznick New Markets Tax Credit Conference, Pre-Conference Workshop, Miami, May 2017
  • “Community Development Finance,” UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Guest Lecture, Los Angeles, April 2017
  • “Affordable Housing: Compliance and Occupancy,” IPED, Learning the Basics: Housing Tax Credits 101, IPED, Boston, MA, March 2017
  • “Adjusting to Recent Changes from Dept of Treasury: CDFI Fund,” Novogradac New Markets Tax Credit Conference, San Diego, January 2017
  • “Hot Topics in Land Use, Affordable Housing and Tax Credit Finance,” Nixon Peabody Annual MCLE Seminar, Los Angeles, January 2017

LA’s Most Influential Women Lawyers

Los Angeles Business Journal | April 07, 2019

Nixon Peabody Community Development Finance counsel Sonia Nayak has been recognized as one of the top women lawyers in the city on Los Angeles Business Journal’s annual list.


Sonia A. Nayak


Los Angeles

Phone: 213-629-6072

San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-8389

Fax: 866-784-4619

University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D.

University of California, Irvine, B.A., Political Science


Sonia is a member of the California State Bar and a member of the Los Angeles and San Francisco County Bar Associations

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