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Cornell Real Estate Review

Abstract

Since its inception as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the Tax Credit for Low-Income Rental Housing (Low Income Housing Tax Credit, “LIHTC”) has been the most significant government subsidy for the provision of affordable rental housing.1 The program has grown significantly in size, especially in recent years. In 2001, states received $1.50 per capita to dedicate to tax credits for qualifying projects; by 2010, this federal expenditure rose to $2.10 per capita.2 Even in its early days, LIHTC was called the most generous tax credit in history.3 By 2000, one million units of affordable housing- compliant with metro-specific rent caps and tenant income restrictions described in this paper- had been created nationwide by use of the LIHTC.4 By 2008, that total reached over 1.76 million.5

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