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Tax Incentives for Affordable Housing: The Low Income Housing Tax Credit

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  • Singhal, Monica
  • Dharmapala, Dhammika
  • Desai, Mihir A.

Abstract

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) represents a novel tax expenditure program that employs “investable†tax credits to spur production of low-income rental housing. While it has grown into the largest source of new affordable housing in the U.S. and its structure is now being replicated in other programs, the LIHTC has also drawn skepticism and calls for its repeal. We provide estimates of tax expenditures under this program and discuss pricing, efficiency, and distributional effects of the program. We also consider the impacts of the recent financial crisis on the LIHTC program and explore implications of resulting policy changes and proposals.

Suggested Citation

  • Singhal, Monica & Dharmapala, Dhammika & Desai, Mihir A., 2010. "Tax Incentives for Affordable Housing: The Low Income Housing Tax Credit," Scholarly Articles 10611680, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:10611680
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gibbons, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 2006. "The incidence of UK housing benefit: Evidence from the 1990s reforms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 799-822, May.
    2. Dharmapala, Dhammika, 1999. "Comparing tax expenditures and direct subsidies: the role of legislative committee structure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 421-454, June.
    3. Coate, Stephen & Johnson, Stephen & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1994. "Pecuniary redistribution through in-kind programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 19-40, September.
    4. Nathaniel Baum-Snow & Justin Marion, 2007. "The Effects of Low Income Housing Developments on Neighborhoods," Working Papers 2007-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    5. Malpezzi, Stephen & Vandell, Kerry, 2002. "Does the low-income housing tax credit increase the supply of housing?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 360-380, December.
    6. Edgar O. Olsen, 2003. "Housing Programs for Low-Income Households," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 365-442 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sinai, Todd & Waldfogel, Joel, 2005. "Do low-income housing subsidies increase the occupied housing stock?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2137-2164, December.
    8. Eriksen, Michael D. & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 2010. "Crowd out effects of place-based subsidized rental housing: New evidence from the LIHTC program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 953-966, December.
    9. Usowski, Kurt & Hollar, Mike, 2008. "Social Policy and the U.S. Tax Code: The Curious Case of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 61(3), pages 519-529, September.
    10. Eriksen, Michael D., 2009. "The market price of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 141-149, September.
    11. Susin, Scott, 2002. "Rent vouchers and the price of low-income housing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 109-152, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Welch, Timothy F., 2013. "Equity in transport: The distribution of transit access and connectivity among affordable housing units," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 283-293.
    2. Carlson, Curtis & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2008. "Energy Tax Incentives and the Alternative Minimum Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 61(3), pages 477-491, September.
    3. Lang, Bree J., 2015. "Input distortions in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: Evidence from building size," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 119-128.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • R51 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies

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