The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) was established under the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to promote private sector investment in the retention and production of rental housing that is reserved for low-income households.
The LIHTC program provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal income tax liability for project owners who develop rental housing that serves low-income households with incomes up to 60% of area median income. The amount of LIHTC available to project owners is directly related to the number of low-income housing units in the project which they develop.
Most projects receiving an allocation of LIHTC also utilize another governmental subsidy as part of their project financing. Federal subsidies such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME and USDA RHS 515 have been used in conjunction with the LIHTC. On the State level, the LIHTC has been allocated to projects employing subsidies from programs administered by the Housing Trust Fund Corporation. Local government capital subsidies have been employed extensively in projects located in New York City.
Project owners use the LIHTC allocation as a gap filler in their development budgets. The LIHTC allocation is converted into private equity to fill the project gaps through the sale of the project and the tax credit to investors.
DHCR is the lead Housing Credit Agency for New York State. Other Housing Credit Agencies include the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Project owners eligible to receive allocations of LIHTC include individuals, corporations, limited liability corporations and limited partnerships, with the latter two being the most widely used ownership entities. Both nonprofit organizations and private developers may participate in the ownership structure of such entities.
Projects located in all areas within New York State are eligible to participate in the LIHTC program.
Income Population Served
The LIHTC is available to project owners only for those units that are occupied by LIHTC-qualified low-income households. A low-income household is defined as one having an income of 60 percent or less of the area median, as adjusted for household size.