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Cityscape: Volume 17 Number 2 | Article 4


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.

Affordable, Accessible, Efficient Communities

Volume 17, Number 2

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

How Can the LIHTC Program Most Effectively Be Used To Provide Affordable Rental Housing Near Transit?

Todd Nedwick
National Housing Trust

Kimberly Burnett
Abt Associates Inc.


For millions of Americans, public transportation is more than a mere convenience; it is a necessity for accessing jobs, educational opportunities, healthcare services, and other everyday needs, while living within their financial means. It can be significantly difficult, however, to finance the construction or preservation of affordable housing in location-efficient areas: high demand to live in transit-accessible areas drives up land costs, making it a challenge to acquire desirable sites for affordable housing and putting existing affordable rental housing at risk (Armstrong, 1994; Cervero and Duncan, 2002a, 2002b; Debrezion, Pels, and Rietveld, 2007; Gruen, Gruen & Associates, 1997; Immergluck, 2007; Lin, 2002). As the largest affordable rental housing production and preservation program in the nation, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program provides an opportunity to ensure that housing affordable to low- and moderateincome families is developed and preserved near public transportation. Yet, nearly 30 years after its enactment, the LIHTC Program remains one of the least studied federal programs. This article addresses a fundamental question: How can the LIHTC Program most effectively be used to promote the preservation and development of affordable rental housing near transit? To answer this question, this study relies on qualitative analysis of interviews of more than 100 housing policy agency staff, developers, and housing and transit policy experts and on a quantitative analysis of more than 400 qualified allocation plans issued during an 8-year period.

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