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LIHTC Basics: What Is Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Property – And What Does It Mean as a Tenant or Applicant?

(En español)

Created by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program is the largest source of new affordable housing in the United States, giving State and local agencies the equivalent of approximately $8 billion in annual budget authority to issue tax credits for the acquisition, rehabilitation, or new construction of rental housing targeted to lower-income households. There are about 2,000,000 tax credit units today and this number continues to grow by an estimated 100,000 annually.

In 2020, PA created a state housing tax credit that supplements the federal LIHTC. Since 1986, LIHTC has allowed housing developers to create thousands of affordable rental homes in Pennsylvania. The tax credits make construction of properties more affordable and allow the buildings to rent for less than the market rate for similar properties. But the lower rent is not based upon income, like most HUD funded programs including public housing and housing choice vouchers.

Pennsylvania’s statewide housing experts at RHLS (Regional Housing Legal Services) have created a guide to Low Income Tax Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) property. This guide will help someone looking for affordable housing options and also tenants who already live in such property.  

Here is a link to the RHLS guide in English: Renting a LIHTC Home: Everything You Need to Know.

Here is a link to the RHLS guide in Spanish: Alquiler de una casa de LIHTC: Todo lo que necesita saber.

More LIHTF Information

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) has been designated as the allocating agency for Pennsylvania.