Federal officials have released the much-awaited guidance on implementing the new features of the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last week issued notice CPD 09-03, which provides details on the submission requirements, eligible uses of funds, and program requirements for the Tax Credit Assistance Program. Details can be found at http://www.hud.gov/recovery/.

The Treasury department also provided information about the credit exchange program, which allows states to provide grants in lieu of credits. For more, visit http://www.treasury.gov/recovery/LIH-grants.shtml.

Both programs are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and are aimed at helping jump-start the LIHTC market, which is struggling with a lack of investor capital.

HUD will be awarding $2.25 billion in grants to state housing credit agencies through the Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) to complete construction of qualified housing developments.

Under the exchange program, state housing agencies can elect to receive cash grants in lieu of tax credits. The estimated outlay to states is $3 billion in 2009.

The Treasury will accept applications from state housing agencies for the first portion of the funds May through June 2009, says the notice.