Strong Income and Economic Diversity Reported at LIHTC Properties

Published by Michael Novogradac on Friday, July 13, 2012 - 12:00am

At last month’s National Council of State Housing Agencies Conference, researchers from New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy and the University of Massachusetts Boston shared the results of a study called “What Can We Learn about the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program by Looking at the Tenants.”

The study sheds light on the incomes of tenants of low-income housing tax credit properties and whether the low-income housing tax credit program is reaching those with extremely low incomes. The authors also examine rent burdens and economic diversity within developments. 

Here’s a sample of the findings:

Extremely Low Income Households

  • Overall, more than 40 percent of low-income housing tax credit households have extremely low-incomes (ELI).
  • There is wide variation among states, from a low of 20 percent of ELI households in LIHTC properties in one state to a high of 56 percent in another.

Area Median Income

Nearly one in five LIHTC properties meet the authors’ definition of mixed-income, meaning they 20 percent of households are ELI and 20 percent are greater than 50 percent of area median income (AMI).

The study also found that:

  • 43.2 percent of LIHTC households’ income was at or below 30 percent of AMI;
  • 36.5 percent of LIHTC households’ income was between 31 and 50 percent of AMI; and,
  • 20.2 percent of LIHTC households’ income was above 50 percent of AMI.

Rent Burdens

Researchers study the rent burdens of households in 14 states and found that:

  • 41 percent of LIHTC households’ rent burdens were at or below 30 percent;
  • 41.9 percent of LIHTC households’ rent burdens were between 31 and 50 percent; and,
  • 17.1 percent of LIHTC households’ had a rent burden at or above 51 percent.

These figures are based on tenant-level data from 15 states. The study’s authors examined nearly 480,000 low-income housing tax credit units in approximately 8,000 developments.

Tune in to the July 17 Tax Credit Tuesday Podcast to hear more about the report.