Opportunity, Race, and Low Income Housing Tax Credit Projects

Limitations

Limitations 

While effort was taken to ensure that this analysis was performed as rigorously as possible, it is important to highlight several limitations. One limitations is our breakdown of project data from 1987–2014 into two groups. The “before 2007” category is a span of 19 years of data, meaning that there are far more projects, units, and awards in that category, whereas there is only 7 years’ worth of data for the “after 2007” category presented in table 2. To mitigate this issue, the charts display the percentage of projects; this standardizes the data by showing proportions instead of sums of 19 years’ and 7 years’ worth of data, respectively. 

A limitation of our demographic analysis is our aggregation of the Hispanic, African American, Asian, and Other racial groups into the category of “non-white”. Combining several racial groups together may not provide a holistic evaluation of which racial group(s) receives the least affordable housing options and support from the federal housing program.

In addition, we classified Asians as “non-whites” for the purpose of the demographic analysis. Nationally, a high level of non-white segregation generally raises fair housing concerns because of the nation’s history of racial discrimination and exclusion. However, in the Bay Area context, the dynamics may be different for Asians because many neighborhoods—particularly those in close proximity to Silicon Valley—may have very high populations of Asians who are employed by nearby technology firms, which pay salaries above the regional median income. Currently, there is a lack of research on whether neighborhoods with high percentages of Asians experience lower levels of opportunity than whites with similar incomes—especially in areas where these groups have high-paying jobs. 

Finally, we have computed opportunity using 2014 data on neighborhood attributes. High-opportunity neighborhoods in 2014 may actually be different from where high-opportunity neighborhoods were in 2007 or 1989, yet we are analyzing projects which received credits in those years according to 2014 levels of opportunity