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The Nation's Housing Success Story

The low-income housing tax credit has financed more than 3 million affordable homes over three decades

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Washington, D.C., November 30, 2017 | comments

The low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) has become the most successful tool for producing and preserving affordable housing across the nation for families, seniors, veterans, the disabled, and formerly homeless individuals.

In its 31-year history, the LIHTC has financed over 3 million affordable housing units and provided homes for approximately 7 million low-income households. An average of over 1,400 projects and 110,000 units were placed in service yearly from 1995 to 2015, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s LIHTC database.

Established as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 under President Ronald Reagan, the program has earned strong bipartisan support throughout its history. Support for the program most recently was seen when the LIHTC was one of only two tax credits included in the Republican leadership’s tax reform framework released at the end of September. (The other was the research and development tax credit.)

In addition, bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate seeks to expand and further strengthen the program. Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) reintroduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act earlier this year to increase the LIHTC program by 50% to help create or preserve approximately 1.3 million affordable homes over a 10-year period and to make several modifications to strengthen the program. S. 548 includes 21 co-sponsors, including 11 Democrats, nine Republicans, and one Independent.

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