As Congress considers comprehensive tax reform, rural affordable housing advocates are making sure legislators understand the worth of the most important program to produce new affordable housing in rural areas: the federal low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC).

On Aug. 13, Rapoza Associates released The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: Overcoming Barriers to Affordable Housing in Rural America. The report shows off the success of LIHTCs in rural areas through 37 detailed case studies of successful LIHTC rural properties, helpfully organized by state and Congressional district.

Since the birth of the program in 1986, LIHTCs have been used to develop and preserve more than 7,600 rental housing communities in rural America—or more than 270,000 units of housing, according to the report. Developers who create and preserve affordable housing in rural areas get close to half of their financing from LIHTCs, according to a recent survey of National Rural Housing Coalition (NRHC) members.

"The data and outcomes in this report demonstrate the effectiveness of LIHTC, which we hope will help inform policymakers as they proceed with tax reform efforts," said Peter Carey, president and CEO of Self-Help Enterprises in Visalia, Calif., and NRHC board member, in a statement.

This collection of case studies was prepared by Rapoza Associates in partnership with five NRHC members, including Self-Help Enterprises, Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Corporation, South County Housing, and Community Housing Improvement Program of California.