Affordable, quality housing is central to improving the lives of low-income people. Preserving and producing these homes draws on multiple sources of financing—and none is more important than the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit).

Last month the Enterprise Policy Development and Research team released Giving Due Credit: Balancing Priorities in State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Allocation Policies.  In the last year, Enterprise reviewed the Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) for each Housing Credit allocating agency. Giving Due Credit identifies leading practices for the cost-effective production and preservation of affordable housing that is well-located, durable, sustainable, and connected to good schools, jobs, transit, and health care. It also addresses the impact of cost-related measures on affirmatively furthering fair housing through efforts to both revitalize distressed communities and build affordable homes in neighborhoods of opportunity.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Many agencies have undertaken innovative approaches to cost-effectiveness, but opportunities remain, particularly related to: consolidating, coordinating and simplifying funding/regulatory processes; coordinating across agencies and jurisdictions; considering lifecycle costs; and facilitating innovation
  • Context matters: agencies should consider the cumulative impact of QAP provisions on costs and quality
  • Agencies have reacted to recent fair housing concerns in a variety of ways, but it is too early to tell long-term impact.

Each state’s Housing Credit allocation method is crucial to community development. This report is a resource for strengthening your understanding of these allocation plans, helping you discover what’s working across the country, and becoming a more powerful advocate on your state’s plan.

In support of the report we are hosting a free webinar on August 3. Enterprise staff and experts from state housing agencies will lead a discussion on the key findings and offer insights on balancing the numerous options and trade-offs that policy makers and housing developers face. Learn more about areas such as how funding sources and regulatory compliance should be coordinated and streamlined; how data collection and analysis can help agencies achieve multiple goals; and how agencies can encourage innovation through the use of pilot initiatives.

This research is part of Enterprise’s ongoing Expanding the Supply of Affordable Homes (Expanding Supply) program. Expanding Supply provides research and implementation support to improve housing affordability through financial innovations, regulatory optimization, and development/preservation cost-effectiveness. This program focuses on both the affordable housing delivery system and housing affordability across the broader market.

 

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