Growing But Unequal: Mapping High Opportunity Areas and Implications for Affordable Housing
Nostikasari, Dian; Shelton, Kyle; Morin, Taylor; Walker, Kelsey
This report looks at the relationship between LIHTC projects and areas receiving full points on the 2016 QAP compared to the 2017 QAP’s Opportunity Index. It finds that the bulk of LIHTC properties continue to be located in places where they represent large shares of multifamily units and that LIHTC properties remain separate from those areas of Harris County that could be called the highest opportunity areas. Finally, using the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employment and Household Dynamic dataset, it explores the employment opportunities to residents within and outside areas with LIHTC properties. The findings underscore the importance of balancing high opportunity housing with meaningful revitalization efforts.
Cities across the country are facing affordable housing shortages. One of the most frequently used tools in addressing this gap is the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which provides tax credits to developers who supply or rehab affordable housing. But the program has historically located new low-income housing in low-income neighborhoods, further segregating cities. More recently, a debate has emerged about the most effective placement of these tax credit projects. Should they be in revitalizing or underserved neighborhoods as a source of stable housing? Or located in wealthier, so-called high-opportunity neighborhoods with access to good schools, transportation and jobs? Houston finds itself in the middle of this debate and under federal investigation for its fair housing practices. This report looks at how the state's process for awarding low-income housing tax credits shapes the location of those developments in Houston.ﾠ