Low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) is a federal program that provides a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for affordable housing developments. Created in 1986, the LIHTC program accounts for nearly 90% of all affordable rental housing in the U.S. The SC State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SCSHFDA) administers the state’s LIHTC program, accepting applications annually and determining projects of greatest need and impact.

In recent years, the SCSHFDA’s QAP has favored LIHTC funding for rural areas of the state, effectively excluding areas such as the City of Charleston from receiving federal funds. Last month at a meeting at Seven Farms Village, an award-winning LIHTC development project on Daniel Island, Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. spoke to a group of residents, local leaders, developers, and representatives from SCSHFDA about the need to extend the LIHTC program to urban areas. The Mayor emphasized that “in urban areas, where there is apparent affluence and economic activity, there is really a counter veiling pressure for affordable housing. Land becomes more expensive in urban areas. It’s more costly to produce affordable housing and we have a huge need.” Read the full article here.

Tracy Doran, president of the Humanities Foundation, states that LIHTC is an innovative program that brings private dollars into affordable housing, and the impact it has on local communities is great. Since its creation, the LIHTC program has created 30,679 affordable apartments for South Carolinians, generating 35,587 jobs, $2.7 billion in local income, and $263 million in state and local revenue.

CLF supports the LIHTC program. It is currently partnering with other members of the Community Investment Corporation of the Carolinas (CICCAR) on participatory loans that will benefit four communities across South Carolina. Funding will be used to provide affordable rental housing in Myrtle Beach, Rock Hill, Columbia, and Bennettsville. A total of 192 affordable rental units will be produced to serve families living at 50-60% AMI.

Many affordable housing developers are concerned about the future of the LIHTC program due to potential federal budget cuts. Contact your state and federal legislators and let them know that affordable housing and the LIHTC program are important to our community.