Nearly all state housing finance agencies feature incentives in their 9 percent low-income housing tax credit programs to preserve existing affordable housing projects, according to the National Housing Trust (NHT).

Sixteen states set aside a portion of their annual tax credits toward these deals, with four states dedicating more than 40 percent of their tax credits to preservation.

Florida Housing Finance Corp.’s preliminary plan leads the nation with a 50 percent set-aside for preservation deals, and the Delaware State Housing Agency intends to dedicate 45 percent of its tax credits toward preservation, reported NHT leaders.

In a new move, four states—Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Oregon—direct a 30 percent basis boost toward preservation developments, according to NHT, which has been closely examining state qualified allocation plans (QAPs) since 2003. The policy team also analyzed how much of each state’s LIHTCs have recently been allocated to preservation projects. In its latest study, NHT looked at state QAPs as of Dec. 1, 2010.

In all, 45 states provide some preservation incentives in the QAPs. That’s a dramatic increase from when NHT first began looking at the plans, said Executive Director Michael Bodaken, recalling that only six states had preservation incentives in the early years of the study.

“Given the scarcity of resources at the state level and given the relative oversupply of tax credit properties in certain locations, I would expect preservation to be poised to stay very much a part of almost every state’s QAP,” he said. In fact, NHT found that 30 states allocated more than 20 percent of their tax credits toward preservation in 2008-2009, with Michigan and Delaware deploying 100 percent of their 9 percent tax credits for preservation in 2009.

Many states have made preservation a part of their wider sustainable communities work and their efforts to be more green, added Tracy Kaufman, director of NHT’s National Preservation Initiative. Indeed, 32 states target points to green criteria in their QAPs, with 14 states including green threshold criteria.

The study is important because state housing officials can use the data to help find solutions for their states and craft their QAPs, she said.

For developers, the report provides information about other housing resources available in each state, said Bodaken.

The NHT research also includes other state and local resources available for housing. Public Policy Associate Laura Abernathy found that at least 30 state housing trust funds support preservation. In addition, some states have created public-private funds for predevelopment and acquisition efforts.  The Housing Trust Fund Project of the Center for Community Change assisted in the examination of trust funds.

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