City and Regional Planning

Improving the Spatial Equity of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program  

This working paper picks up on the U.S Supreme Court’s 2015 landmark decision in Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., which found that, whatever their intent, federal housing programs which generate disparate racial impacts violate the U.S. Fair Housing Act. Using data on the more than 35,000 Low-income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects built since 1988, this paper explores the degree to which such projects are disproportionately located in minority and poor neighborhoods; and how with a few simple changes, the LIHTC program could be used to further economic and social opportunities rather than reduce them. 

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