An Affordable Home Offers Educational Opportunities and More Time to Devote to Education
Affordable home developments get a majority of their funding from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). The LIHTC has produced nearly 3 million housing units since its inception in 1986.
Although the LIHTC has played a fundamental role in providing housing for low income/homeless individuals or households, there have until recently been no studies on the effects of these homes on people’s lives.
However, the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley has recently provided analysis on these Housing Credit properties “particularly with regard to housing stability, economic mobility, and access to education.”
This analysis is focused on Housing Credit units in California, “and surveys with over 250 residents in 18 properties.”
- Affordability was the biggest advantage of the LIHTC-funded properties.
- Prior to living in a LIHTC property “residents reported conditions that were unaffordable, unsafe, and dire.”
- Their new affordable homes were not only a financial relief, but they also provide safety and comfort.
- “One of the most common terms used to describe their new home was a “safe haven,” a place where residents are protected from sharp rent increases or poor living conditions.”
- Another advantage of these homes is the education that families can now receive.
- By reducing the costs of housing, these households were able to spend less time working for and less of a percentage of their low-incomes on housing costs and in turn, spend that time and money on their own and their childrens’ education.
Although housing stability and access to education improved, LIHTC residents were unsatisfied with their access to economic mobility. The jobs that LIHTC residents held “were precarious, and lacked good wages, benefits and opportunities for advancement.”
LIHTC residents felt that they would not be able to afford any other sort of housing besides the residences they were currently inhabiting. Similar research must be taken in order to get a better understanding of the effects of LIHTC housing on low-income working families, and how to improve the benefits of these homes.