Opportunity, Race, and Low Income Housing Tax Credit Projects

Conclusion

Conclusion 

Since the inception of the LIHTC program in 1986, research on the location of LIHTC projects in relation to opportunity have been mixed in their assessments on the efficacy of the program.20 Our analysis of LIHTC projects in the San Francisco Bay Area has revealed similar patterns to those historically observed, in addition to some novel trends. 

After assessing tax credit housing locations in the Bay Area, the pattern of LIHTC developments seems to promote a larger-than-desired percentage of its affordable housing in low-opportunity areas non-whites comprise 50% or more of the population. While California has made improvements in ensuring that LIHTC units are not exposed to high levels of poverty in the last ten years, there are still areas for improvement, such as encouraging Large Family and New Construction projects in higher opportunity neighborhoods and maintaining the number and quality of Acquisition and Rehabilitation developments.21

 Refer to page 24 in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research 2015 Effect of QAP Incentives on the Location of LIHTC Properties report.

  • What levels of neighborhood opportunity were present at the time that LIHTC projects were constructed?
  • Have neighborhoods with LIHTC projects gradually transitioned from having lower opportunity levels to higher levels, or vice versa?
  • Have the most recently constructed projects been sited in higher opportunity areas than the projects that were constructed in the earlier years of the LIHTC program?

Below is a summary of our key findings.

  • 20. Lance Freeman, 2004. Siting Affordable Housing: Location and Development Trends of Low Income Housing Tax Credit Developments in the 1990s. http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2004/04/metropolitanpolicy-fre....
  • 21. Refer to page 24 in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research 2015 Effect of QAP Incentives on the Location of LIHTC Properties report.