Yesterday, Rapoza Associates released a new report on the impact of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit in rural communities. Because LIHTC is often seen as an urban program, several NRHC members – including Self Help Enterprises, People’s Self Help Housing, South County Housing, Community Housing Improvement Program, and Coachella Valley Housing Coalition— wanted to educate lawmakers about LIHTC’s impact in rural America.
The report finds that LIHTC is the principal tool used by rural communities to develop and preserve affordable rental housing. In fact, since its inception in 1986, LIHTC has developed or preserved more than 270,000 units of affordable housing in rural America. This has led to the creation of 1.15 million jobs, generating $86.9 billion in local income and increasing state and local tax revenue by $67.8 billion.
In addition, the report cites NRHC’s 2013 Impact Survey that found that LIHTC represents 50 percent of all financing secured by NRHC members to develop and preserve affordable rental housing.
Like all tax expenditures, LIHTC is potentially at risk in any tax reform legislation that promises to simplify the tax code and lower tax rates through eliminating or curtailing credits, preferences and deductions.
This comes as housing and community development spending has dropped. Between 1980-2010, federal expenditures on community development at HUD, USDA, and Commerce fell by 75 percent as measured as a share of GDP. Since that time, this trend has accelerated, due in large part to the Budget Control Act. For example, since 2010, federal rural development spending at USDA has been cut by $400 million. As a consequence, LIHTC has become the principal tool for financing affordable rental housing in rural communities.
For more information, please read our press release.