Forty-three states have set-aside policies, scoring incentives or threshold requirements for either supportive housing or service-enriched housing in their low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) qualified allocation plans (QAPs).
That’s one of the findings in Using the Housing Credit for Supportive Housing: An Assessment of 2005 State Policies, a new report from the Supportive Housing Investment Partnership, a collaboration between Enterprise Community Partners and the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). The study is the first comprehensive look at how states are encouraging supportive housing development through their housing tax credit programs.
“It offers governors, housing finance agency leaders and others a tool to better shape their tax credit programs so there are incentives for supportive housing,” said Carla Javits, president and CEO of CSH.
Supportive housing is permanent, affordable housing that also provides intensive services targeted to populations with special needs who struggle to retain stable housing. Residents have typically included people with histories of homelessness, mental illness or other health or social issues.
Under the housing tax credit program, housing finance agencies are able to establish their state’s criteria and preferences for allocating tax credits in a QAP.
The new study assessed QAPs from every state to see how they were fostering the development of supportive housing.
The most common method was through scoring incentives. The study found 36 states had scoring incentive policies in place to encourage the development of supportive housing. Nine states had set-asides, and seven had threshold requirements.
Looking even deeper into the QAPs, the study details nine states that have specific point categories promoting supportive housing aimed at the homeless.
It also describes six states with specific point categories for supportive housing for people with physical or mental disabilities. Eleven states had specific point categories promoting supportive housing for the elderly.
In addition, the study cites 21 states encouraging extremely low income targeting. This was examined because supportive housing residents typically have incomes below 30% of the area median income.
“As more and more localities launch initiatives to end homelessness in the next 10 years, we need to increase resources for supportive housing at all levels – federal, state, and local – or face even more competition for the scarce resources that are currently available,” said Patricia Magnuson, supportive housing director for Enterprise Community Partners.
Written by housing industry consultant James Tassos, the report describes the various efforts being made in each state. The next step will be to examine which incentives and programs are having the biggest impact on producing supportive housing, Javits said.
For more information, visit www.shippartners.org. A companion report on how states are using the LIHTC program to encourage resident services is located at www.residentservices.org.