The impact of the low income housing tax credit program on local schools
The low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program has developed over two million rental homes for low-income households since 1986. The perception of deterioration in school quality has been a main reason for community opposition to LIHTC projects in middle- and upper-income areas. In this paper, we examine the impact of LIHTC projects on the nearby school performance using data on all LIHTC projects and elementary schools in Texas from the 2003–04 through 2008–09 academic years. We employ the longitudinal structure of the data to control for school fixed effects and estimate the relationship between the opening of nearby LIHTC on campus-level standardized test scores and performance ratings. We address the potential selection biases by controlling for preexisting trends in school performance prior to the study period. We find no robust evidence that the opening of LIHTC units negatively impacts the performance of nearby elementary schools.
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