HUD Study Reveals That Affordable Housing Stays Affordable 15 Years After Low Income Tax Credits are in Effect

Since its inception, the nation’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program helped produce more than 2.2 million affordable apartments, accounting for roughly one-third of all multi-family rental housing constructed between 1987 and 2006.  A new report by HUD finds that after an initial 15-year required ‘affordability period,’ the vast majority of these LIHTC properties remain affordable for working families. However, the HUD-commissioned report cautions that once all additional state and local use restrictions expire in the years to come, more than a million units of affordable housing could become market-rate properties that lower income families may no longer be able to afford.  Most LIHTC properties remain affordable despite having passed the 15-year use restrictions mandated by the Internal Revenue Service.  In addition to federal affordability requirements, many LIHTC developments, including those placed in service between 1987 and 1994, are subject to other use restrictions that last beyond Year 15.  After Year 15, properties take one of three paths:  they remain affordable without recapitalization; they remain affordable with a major new source of subsidy; or they are converted to market-rate housing.


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