The Dream Revisited
Discussion 14: Housing Subsidies & Inclusive Communities

Discussion 14: Housing Subsidies & Inclusive Communities

June 2015

The fourteenth discussion examines the policy issues underlying Texas vs. The Inclusive Communities Project: how government officials should balance the use of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) allocations to create affordable homes in low-poverty neighborhoods with the use of LIHTC allocations to catalyze economic development in high-poverty neighborhoods.

Essay

  • Tax Credits Can and Should Build Both Homes and Opportunity

    by Adam Gordon

    The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program has built more homes affordable to lower-income renters than any federal program in American history. Yet there has been far less robust discussion and policy innovation around how to best focus this expansive program than one would expect given LIHTC’s scale. It is time to better ensure that LIHTC builds not just homes, but also opportunity.

Discussants

  • Research Can and Should Play a Role in More Effective Use of LIHTC Resources

    by Kathy O’Regan

    LIHTC is meant to meet many goals.  Any individual development may primarily be contributing to only a subset or one of those goals.  Simply said, the inclusion of priorities in QAPs to support additional goals, such as preservation of affordable housing and leveraging the tax credit for community revitalization, can be completely consistent with federal priorities.

  • Building More Than Housing

    by Denise Scott

    The housing credit helps finance almost all affordable rental housing in the country. Over the last three decades it has leveraged more than $100 billion in private capital to build 2.7 million rental apartments in urban, rural and suburban areas. By almost any measure, it has been a tremendous public policy success. But, by primarily directing resources to low-income neighborhoods, some people are asking whether it has also reinforced segregation and concentrations of poverty in certain places.

  • Yes, And… Don’t Abandon Poor Residents of Gentrifying Neighborhoods

    by Robin Hughes

    I am concerned when the development of much-needed affordable homes in lower income neighborhoods is threatened by opponents who argue that affordable housing developments in these communities contribute to the concentration of poverty, thus violating fair housing laws and civil rights of future residents. My organization recently experienced this very challenge on its Rolland Curtis Gardens residential community in South Los Angeles.

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