Leveraging Low Income Housing Tax Credits to Support Thriving Communities

CSH estimates that there are 1.1 million individuals and families in need of supportive housing nationwide. We also expect the COVID-19 pandemic to increase this number as many individuals and families will be affected by loss of income and increasing housing. As state leadership begins to plan for 2021 and continues to manage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) offers one tool to leverage the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) alongside broader state strategies for promoting thriving communities.

As has been the trend in years past, in 2019 all states and territories included at least one method for incentivizing housing for vulnerable individuals and families either as part of the QAP or through an alternative state resource that was leveraged alongside LIHTC.

When comparing year-over-year data, there was an increase from 2018 in the number of states that either required or incentivized extended low-income periods for developments. Similarly, more states included fair housing requirements that went beyond the Fair Housing Act. There was also an increase in the number of states using set-asides for extremely low-income (ELI) units serving those at or below 30% area median income (AMI); however, fewer states actually required ELI units as part of a threshold.

Her are the five recommendations in our report:

  1. Allocate Low Income Housing Tax Credits for Supportive Housing
  2. Prioritize the Populations Most in Need of Supportive Housing and Large Families 
  3. Include Requirements for Extremely Low Income Units
  4. Ensure Equitable Access to Housing and Address Disparate Impacts to Fair Housing
  5. Clearly Define Supportive Housing and Ensure Quality Standards

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