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Do Tenants Capture the Benefits from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program?



This article compares the rent savings accrued by recipient households over the life cycle of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects to their allocated tax credits. A simple two-stage empirical procedure is developed and implemented for a selected medium-sized metropolitan statistical area. Using hedonic pricing parameters estimated in the first stage, LIHTC ceiling rents are compared to predicted market rents. The findings indicate rent savings constitute a relatively small fraction of the programs costs, suggesting developers and investors may capture some of the program's benefits. As this finding characterizes only one potential source of benefits of the LIHTC program, a brief discussion of other potential benefits to low-income households supplements the analysis.