Affordable Housing Construction Costs Outpacing Tax Credits

Builders in Ohio warn that, without intervention from Congress, tax credits meant to support affordable housing construction won’t keep up with rising costs and demand.

1 minute read

October 26, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Nighttime view of Cincinnati, Ohio skyline

Sean Pavone / Cincinnati, Ohio

Affordable housing developers in Cincinnati are warning that reduced federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) will have a negative impact on the construction of affordable units, reports Nick Swartsell for WVXU.

The funding shortage coincides with rising rents and a growing need for affordable housing. “Studies suggest Cincinnati needs about 30,000 more units of housing affordable to its lowest income residents,” Swartsell points out.

Affordable housing developers say “as labor costs, materials and interest rates get more costly, that state-administered pool of federal money builders can apply for isn't keeping up.” And while Congress passed a 12.5 percent increase to LIHTC programs in 2018, that increase expired this year, reducing tax credits for affordable housing once again.

Help could come from proposed federal and state legislation. If passed, the federal Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act could finance as many as 1 million new affordable units in the next decade.

Housing developers say current efforts are encouraging, but not sufficient. According to Urban Sites Vice President for Affordable Housing Tim Westrich, “Barring some big unforeseen change, there will be fewer affordable housing units in the future.”

Monday, October 24, 2022 in WVXU

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