Eighty-seven organizations will receive New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) to revitalize low-income neighborhoods across the country.

The large number of organizations receiving an allocation this year is a move by the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund to “spread the wealth and get more Community Development Entities (CDEs) involved,” says Gary Perlow, managing partner of the Mid-Atlantic region for CohnReznick, a leading accounting, tax, and advisory firm.

There were 85 allocatees in the 2012 funding round and 70 in 2011.

This latest allocations come from the 2013 funding round, which would be the program’s last if Congress does not extend the credit. The NMTC program has been in the same situation before. In the past, the CDFI Fund continued to move forward in calling for new applications as it waited the program’s fate.

The latest group of allocates was selected from a pool of 310 applicants that requested more than $25.9 billion in allocation authority. They are headquartered in 32 different states and the District of Columbia.

Individual awards, which ranged from $15 million to $60 million, were smaller than in years past as the CDFI Fund worked to fund more organizations, according to Perlow.

The Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) was among several organizations receiving $60 million in NMTCs.

“I can’t emphasize enough how important the NMTC program is to revitalizing distressed communities,” says Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO. “It attracts capital to places known more for boarded up storefronts than for bustling business districts. And it creates good jobs for families that struggle every day to make ends meet. It is essential.”

LISC uses NMTCs to support a wide range of developments, from small businesses and charter schools to manufacturing facilities, health centers and entertainment districts—all in places largely abandoned by the private market.

Other organizations familiar to the affordable housing industry also received a NMTC allocation, including Enterprise, Habitat for Humanity, IFF, Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp., and Telesis CDE Corp.

“The New Markets Tax Credit program is one of the most effective tools available to LIIF to fulfill our vision for innovative, holistic approaches to community development,” says Kimberly Latimer-Nelligan, COO and executive vice president, community investments and programs, at LIIF. “Our allocation last year enabled LIIF to attract private capital into projects that increased access to fresh food, high quality education, health care and transit, often connected with affordable housing in distressed neighborhoods.”

Her organization continues to see strong demand for NMTC financing from borrowers across the country. “Getting a seventh allocation this year means LIIF can meet the needs of our strongest partners when they take on high-impact, complex projects in the communities they serve,” says Latimer-Nelligan. “In many cases, NMTCs are the best financing product available to attract affordable capital at scale to those deals.”

Approximately $2.6 billion (75 percent) of NMTC investment proceeds is expected to be used to finance and support loans to or investments in low-income communities. About $830.7 million of investment process will likely be used to finance and support real estate projects, and about $20.5 million of NMTC investment proceeds will likely be used to provide capital to other CDEs.

While there was no specific set-aside of tax credits for “healthy food financing” in the 2013 NMTC allocation round, applicants were asked if they intend to devote a percentage of their allocation to support healthy food activities. Sixty-one allocatees (or 70 percent) indicated that they intend to devote some portion of their NMTC allocation to healthy food financing activities.

This year, there was also a good number of allocates—19 organizations or 22 percent—that will focus their activities in local markets, notes Perlow. Forty-one allocates (47 percent) will have a national service area; 15 (17 percent) will work in a multi-state service area; and 12 (14 percent) will focus on a statewide service area.

Established by Congress in December 2000, the NMTC program permits individual and corporate taxpayers to receive a credit against federal income taxes for making equity investments in CDEs. The credit provided to the investor totals 39 percent of the cost of the investment and is claimed over a seven-year period. CDEs, in turn, use the capital raised to make investments in low-income communities.

A full list of the recent awardees can be found here.

Connect with Donna Kimura, deputy editor of Affordable Housing Finance, on Twitter @DKimura_AHF