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Implementing the Fair Housing and Equity Assessment: Advancing Opportunity Through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

Implementing the Fair Housing and Equity Assessment: Advancing Opportunity Through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
2014Fair Credit/Fair Housing

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The Fair Housing Equity Assessment (FHEA) represents a new opportunity for regional and local agencies to be more strategic with their resources to advance goals of investing in high-poverty communities while ensuring that more low-income people and families have expanded mobility to neighborhoods of high opportunity. Achieving these goals at a regional scale will take strategic investment to leverage all resources available for the task.

Critical to achieving regional housing choice and affordability is the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. These tax credits are a vital source of finance for the construction and preservation of affordable housing. The program has financed 90 percent of all affordable housing created across the country, with more than 2.4 million units constructed, since its inception in 1986. Housing constructed using LIHTC resources often have more flexibility in usage compared with those built using other financial sources for affordable housing, making LIHTC an even more valuable instrument to expand housing choice for low-income families in quality school districts, transit-rich neighborhoods, and gentrifying communities. Properties funded by the LIHTC complement other rental assistance programs like the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, as the LIHTC program focuses on expanding the supply of affordable housing in areas of opportunity, where it is more difficult or not possible for vouchers to be used.