Local Support Requirements in Low Income Housing Tax Credit Rules

When will HUD/Justice Department force states to take local support requirements out of low income housing tax credit rules (Qualified Allocation Plans)?  See this article on local support problems in Sand Springs, Oklahoma and see the lawsuit against TX Department of Housing & Community Affairs which quotes a Texas House Committee report as follows: “QAP provisions requiring multiple notifications to state and local political officials and neighborhood organanizations are feared to enable Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) opposition to developments that are proposed in non-impacted areas (above average minority concentration and below average income levels).”  In other words, affordable housing will face stiff opposition unless the developer takes the “path of least resistance”, abandons the nicer suburbs and puts the affordable housing in areas with high minority, low income populations — which reconcentrates poverty, the very result that Fair Housing laws are intended to overcome.

These rules violate Fair Housing laws & requirements that state and local governments “affirmatively further fair housing” when they disperse federal funds (see Westchester County case, Gautreaux case in Chicago, etc.).  Fair housing can’t exist if NIMBY is institutionalized in the rules in form of local opposition having a vote.

This issue takes on heightened importance if we are going to become a bigger renter society going forward, and thus need to develop more multfamily (including affordable) housing.  See What Happens if More Americans Want to Rent Instead of Buy?


About Bob Voelker

Vice President and General Counsel, StreetLights Residential - Building Places that Life the Human Spirit.
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