Affordable Housing, Reports and Publications

Examination of LIHTC Data Reveals Effectiveness of Program


A new study examining data from 15 states finds that the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) assists low income individuals, but not as many extremely low income households as other programs offered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The study, undertaken by Katherine O’Regan, Associate Professor at NYU Wagner Graduate School and the Furman Center and Keren Horn, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston, looks at LIHTC tenant data in 15 states that voluntarily shared their data to examine the incomes and rent burdens of tenants living in LIHTC properties.

Main findings from the report found that recipients of LIHTC tend to have higher incomes than households assisted by other federal rental assistance programs, but that the program does still assist a fair number of extremely low income (ELI) households, which are defined as households that earn 30% or less of the area median income (AMI).  43% of LIHTC recipients are ELI, while 75% of all households that receive funding from HUD programs are ELI.

The report also found that the rent burdens of LIHTC tenants are not based on the actual income of the tenant, but are tied to the unit’s maximum income limit, which leads to a greater chance that LIHTC households could spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs. This may explain why a greater percentage of incoming tenants as opposed to existing tenants, do not have another form of rental assistance, since it may be the additional rental assistance that has allowed the existing tenants to remain in their LIHTC units. Of the tenants who do not have another form of rental assistance, 57% of them are ELI households.

Click here to read the full report. 


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