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Civil Rights Mandates in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program

The LIHTC program, administered by the IRS and state housing finance agencies, is currently the largest low income housing production program in the country. Unfortunately, it is being operated with little or no civil rights oversight. Patterns of siting of projects in many states are reproducing and perpetuating segregation of low income families in high poverty neighborhoods. In other states, developments located in low poverty areas may not be reaching the families who need housing most.

December 2016 policy announcements

  • Revenue Ruling 2016-29 confirms that the LIHTC statute does not require local support or contribution in state LIHTC plans (the ruling also notes that LIHTC is subject to the Fair Housing Act and its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing obligation).

  • Notice 2016-77 indicates that the required preference for a "Concerted Community Revitalization Plan" in projects selected in higher poverty census tracts has to be an actual plan, and must include something more than just the LIHTC project itself.

  • Department of Treasury final Title VI regulation implements the 1964 Civil Rights Act at the Department, but omits LIHTC from the list of covered Treasury programs. The final Title VI regulation leaves open the possibility that LIHTC might be added to the list at a later date, and also states that "the absence of a program or activity from the list does not by such absence limit the applicability of Title VI to that program or activity."

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Do Federally Assisted Households Have Access to High Performing Public Schools? (November 2012), by Ingrid Gould Ellen and Keren Mertens Horn
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