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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • COVID-19 and the Housing Markets
  • Volume 24 Number 3
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

The Spatial Relationship Between the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program and Industrial Air Pollution

Dana K. Goplerud
Sarah G. Gensheimer
Benjamin K. Schneider
Matthew D. Eisenberg
Genee S. Smith
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Craig Evan Pollack
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Nursing

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not represent the official positions or policies of the Office of Policy Development and Research, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the U.S. government.

Housing is a key social determinant of health, but programs that create affordable housing may unintentionally concentrate residents in neighborhoods with unhealthy exposures, such as air pollution. This article examines whether neighborhoods with Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties have higher levels of industrial air pollution than comparable neighborhoods without LIHTC properties. The findings indicate that, within a given metropolitan area, more polluted neighborhoods are more likely to contain LIHTC properties (odds ratio [OR] 1.08 for 10-percentile-point increase in industrial air pollution). However, that relationship is no longer significant after accounting for neighborhood racial composition and socioeconomic status and is reversed when accounting for housing market characteristics (OR 0.95 for 10-percentile-point increase in industrial air pollution in fully adjusted model). These results provide the first estimates of the association between LIHTC properties and industrial air pollution at the national level and suggest that the disproportionate burden of air pollution exposure among LIHTC residents may be mediated by neighborhood conditions such as poverty and rental market quality.

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