Tax Credits:

The Use of Tenant-Based Assistance in Tax-Credit-Supported Properties

RCED-99-279R: Published: Sep 17, 1999. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on several issues that the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Policy Development and Research is studying in connection with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, focusing on: (1) the number of properties and households that received rental assistance through the program; (2) the characteristics of households that received tenant-based rental assistance, property-based rental assistance, and no rental assistance; and (3) properties in which at least one household received tenant-based rental assistance.

GAO noted that: (1) in about 36 percent of the properties, at least one tenant received tenant-based rental assistance; (2) about 36 percent of all tenants who benefited from rental assistance received tenant-based assistance; (3) in about 1,502 properties classified as benefiting from tenant-based rental assistance, about 70,308 households lived in tax credit units; (4) only about 16,532 of these households received tenant-based rental assistance; (5) data on household and area median income were fairly complete for the approximately 143,000 tax credit units; (6) GAO's analysis of the data revealed no statistically significant difference in the average household income as a percentage of the area median income for households receiving tenant-based rental assistance and households receiving property-based rental assistance; (7) there was no statistically significant difference in the distribution of household income as a percentage of the area median income for households receiving tenant-based rental assistance and households receiving property-based rental assistance; (8) households receiving tenant-based rental assistance were more likely to have low incomes than households that did not receive rental assistance; (9) the rent burden was generally higher for households receiving tenant-based rental assistance than for those receiving property-based rental assistance; (10) the rent burden was lower for households receiving tenant-based rental assistance than for those receiving no rental assistance; (11) the data did not reveal statistically significant differences in the geographical distribution of households receiving tenant-based rental assistance and households receiving property-based rental assistance; (12) households receiving tenant-based rental assistance were more likely to live in central cities and less likely to live in nonmetropolitan areas than households receiving property-based rental assistance; (13) the data did not reveal any statistically significant differences among Census regions in the extent to which tenant-based rental assistance was used; and (14) tenant-based rental assistance was more likely to be used to a high extent at properties with 21-50 units than at those with 100 or more units.

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