Texas Housers is pleased to announce the release of “How to Make the 2023 Tax Credit Housing QAP Work Better for Low-Income Tenants,” a new report on proposed changes to Texas’ Low-Income Housing Tax Credit production scoring criteria. The report contains:
- An introduction to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program and the QAP,
- A summary of topics and themes from this year’s QAP discussions,
- Research and policy best practices background on these topics, and
- Recommendations for QAP changes, informed by research and best practices
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program is responsible for creating more affordable rental units than any other source of federal funding. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) facilitates an annual process to update the rules and scoring criteria by which proposed developments are evaluated. These updates to the scoring document, which is called the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP), are very important because they guide what types of affordable housing are built, what types of neighborhoods they are built in, and who gets to live there. Changes to the QAP could make it more or less likely that housing for extremely low-income residents is built, or that housing is located in a high-opportunity neighborhood
Our recommendations for 2023 outlined in this report, which are based on research and LIHTC best practices, include:
- Add a “Tie Breaker” to promote more low-income units and deeper affordability.
- Build new projects close to existing ones only in high-opportunity areas.
- Maintain “Neighborhood Risk Factors,” rather than removing some of them.
- Improve the incentivization of Supportive Housing for people exiting homelessness and others who need social services.
- Include transit as a consideration when measuring “Proximity to Job Areas.”
- Ask tenants directly about on-site amenities priorities rather than making assumptions.
The draft QAP is currently out for public comment, and can be found here and on the TDHCA public comment page. We encourage you to get involved in improving the QAP by submitting your own written comments by email to Matthew Griego at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 PM on October 14th, 2022. Reach out to Texas Housers’ Research Director Ben Martin at email@example.com to learn more about how you can get involved in making LIHTC properties in Texas as effective as possible at providing housing and serving the needs of low-income Texans.
The TDHCA board will meet and discuss the QAP on November 10th, 2022. Board meeting information can be found on TDHCA’s website here. Although these meetings are open to the public and anyone can sign up to speak, the vast majority of attendees and speakers are developers, who are there to represent their interests and not necessarily those of low-income tenants.
Too few low-income Texans have a say in the decisions that impact this important program. It is critical to speak up for tenants and to reduce barriers for advocacy from low-income tenants so that their valued input can be used to help shape this program.
You can read “How to Make the 2023 Tax Credit Housing QAP Work Better for Low-Income Tenants” below: