Based on data from 15 states and 480,000 Housing Credit apartments, the study found that more than 40 percent of tenant households living in low-income housing tax credit properties have extremely low incomes at or below 30 percent of area median income (AMI), while only 20 percent have incomes at or above 50 percent of AMI.
The study found that a large share of Housing Credit tenants have incomes far below the maximum rents allowed by statute, which is consistent with federal requirements that states prioritize such households in their selection process, and the explicit incorporation of this priority into state qualified allocation plans. The study found variation among the states from a low of 20 percent of households having extremely low incomes in one state, to a high of 56 percent in another. While Housing Credit income limits are set at 50 or 60 percent of area median income (AMI), the study found that approximately 60 percent of tenants have incomes at or below 40 percent of AMI, with only 20 percent having incomes at or above 50 percent of AMI.
The study also looked at the incomes of Housing Credit tenants who do and do not receive additional rental assistance finding that: “a full 78 percent of those households receiving rental assistance are extremely low income and 91 percent of all such households have incomes at or below 40 percent of AMI.” In addition, the study found that 31 percent of Housing Credit households not receiving rental assistance also have extremely low incomes. The researchers concluded that, “even among households not receiving other rental assistance, only 46 percent have incomes above 40 percent of AMI, the group some assume the Housing Credit is predominantly serving.”
The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 required Housing Credit allocating agencies to submit Housing Credit tenant data to HUD on an annual basis. NYU’s study is based on data submitted directly to NYU by state HFAs in addition to their HUD submissions.
Click here to read NCSHA’s Blog on the NYU study for an overview of its findings.