America's Most Effective Urban Revitalization Incentives Under Threat

The low-income housing and new-markets tax credits are two of the most effective tools for stimulating affordable housing creation and the revitalization of low-income neighborhoods. Don't let them fall victim to tax reform, argues Michael Rubinger.
July 16, 2013, 8am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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The low-income housing and new-markets tax credits are responsible for "90 percent of affordable housing development nationwide" and for "spurring investments in businesses, real estate projects and facilities like health clinics, charter schools and child care centers" in low-income communities, explains Rubinger, chief executive of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

"But these credits may be in peril," he adds, as Congress considers ways to overhaul the nation's tax code. "While the arguments for comprehensive tax reform are well known, eliminating these credits would be tragic. They bring much-needed capital to communities most investors would never consider."

"If these credits were to disappear, so too would billions of dollars of annual investment in America’s poorest ZIP codes," argues Rubinger. "The result would be lost jobs, more homelessness, a decimated affordable-housing market and destabilized communities."

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Published on Friday, July 12, 2013 in The New York Times
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