HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research has released a report, Understanding Whom the LIHTC Program Serves: Tenants in LIHTC Units as of December 31, 2012. By way of background,
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program provides tax credits to developers of affordable rental housing. The tax credits are provided during the first 10 years of a minimum 30-year compliance period during which rent and income restrictions apply. The LIHTC Program, although established in the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (IRC), is structured such that state-allocating agencies administer most aspects of the program, including income and rent compliance, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) providing oversight and guidance. Local administration allows states to address affordable housing needs specific to their populations. (1)
Here are some findings of note:
- Approximately three-fourths of reported households include disability status for at least one household member.
- 36.4 percent of reported LIHTC households had a least one member under 18 years old.
- Nearly 33 percent of reported LIHTC households have an elderly member, and 28.6 percent of reported LIHTC households have a head of household at least 62 years old.
- The overall median annual income of households living in LIHTC units was $17,066, ranging from $8,769 in Kentucky to $22,241 in Florida. By comparison, the median income of HUD-assisted tenants was $10,272 in 2012.
- Approximately 60 percent of reported households nationwide had incomes below $20,000.
- The study found that approximately 39 percent of all LIHTC households paid more than 30 percent of their income for rent, thus making them housing cost burdened. Ten percent of all LIHTC households faced a severe housing cost burden, paying more than 50 percent of their income towards rent.
- In 23 states, HUD was able to collect some data on the use of rental assistance in LIHTC units, which can eliminate cost burden for households who have it. Approximately half of reported households receive some form of rental assistance, with the greatest use in Vermont (64 percent) and least use in Nevada (23 percent).
The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 requires that this information be collected on an ongoing basis. It should be of great value as policymakers formulate federal housing policy for low-income households going forward.