Do Qualified Allocation Plans Influence Developers' LIHTC Siting Decisions: The Case of Access to High-Performing Schools

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Virginia Tech


The study analyzed variation among low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) allocation policies as outlined in state qualified action plans (QAP) and their impacts on the siting patterns of LIHTC properties in proximity to high performing schools. The study was performed nationwide across 37 states and controlled for factors relevant to the development location decision using census-based population characteristics and LIHTC property attributes. The purpose was to determine the effectiveness of LIHTC QAP allocation policies in motivating developers to site their developments near high-performing schools. QAPs typically use points when awarding tax credits competitively, and this study focused on points awarded for (1) access to high quality schools, (2) access to any schools, and (3) location in areas with attributes expected to correlate strongly with high quality schools. Multi-level linear modeling estimated that points for access to any schools had a significant and positive effect on location in a high performing school's catchment area, but other allocation policy variables had no significant effects. The findings inform readers about the ability of current allocation policy to influence developer actions, and discussion centers on policy recommendations and the need for further research.



Affordable Housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Schools, Housing Policy, School Quality