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Low-Income Housing Can Fuel Economic Gains


A new study conducted in New York and commissioned by Local Initiatives Support Corp. and Enterprise Community Partners shows affordable-housing development is an economic stimulus

A new study conducted in New York and commissioned by Local Initiatives Support Corp. and Enterprise Community Partners shows affordable-housing development is an economic stimulus. Enterprise and LISC released this report based on data analysis performed by New York University's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, plus independent consultants.

The LISC and Enterprise study considered the impact that new and rehabilitated low-income housing has on residents and the communities in which it is built. Data indicate that supporting the construction and preservation of affordable housing--particularly housing financed by the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program--has a broad, positive effect that generates a significant return on investment.

The study points to three conclusions: families in affordable housing more than double their discretionary income; affordable housing boosts business for nearby merchants; and LIHTC project investments immediately increase adjacent property values by 6% and result in consistent increase over time.

Researchers analyzed home prices for properties near all 660 New York City Low-Income Housing Tax Credit developments, looking at an impact ring that represents a several-block radius around each. The study also incorporated interviews with developers and residents of two sample tax credit projects in the Bronx.