Trumbull Park Homes, a low-income housing development in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Robert R. Gigliotti via Flickr.
In January, Smart Growth America released Federal Involvement in Real Estate, a survey of over 50 federal programs that influence real estate in some way. This post is the second in a series taking a closer look at some of the programs included in that survey.
Congress began the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program in 1986 to incentivize the private sector to develop more affordable rental units for low-income households. Since its creation, the credit has created or preserved nearly two million affordable rental units across the country.
The program offsets investors’ federal income tax liabilities, but the responsibility for administering the program is delegated to the states. States designate housing credit agencies to distribute a pool of tax credits from the U.S. Department of Treasury based on their population. In 2010, the amount of credits agencies received was equal to the greater of $2.10 per capita or $2,430,000. For example, the population of Oklahoma in 2010 was about 3.6 million people, so the state received about $7.7 million in tax credits, or 3.6 million multiplied by $2.10.