What does opportunity mean to you? What economic and social factors have a positive impact on one’s life outcome? And what neighborhood amenities should be considered when investing in affordable housing? Not surprisingly, there is no single, agreed upon answer to these questions. There are, however, trends in how state Housing Finance Agencies define and measure opportunity within the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) program.
Working with Freddie Mac, NHT explored the different definitions of opportunity and the methods used to promote opportunity housing in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through the Housing Credit program. In addition to analyzing each state Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP), we conducted outreach to a number of state allocating agencies, developers and researchers in order to better understand the policies and the process by which states arrived at them, as well as the impact of such policies on the developer community.
We identified common themes and methods in QAPs across states, and we examined the methods used to implement these themes and the challenges to making them practical, how these methods have affected development decisions so far, and how states have chosen to monitor success over time. We find that, despite the variety of approaches to defining opportunity, five primary indicators of opportunity are commonly used by states: Access to Education, Economic Growth/Jobs, Income levels, Access to Health Care, and Access to Transportation.
Download the report below to learn more about these indicators and how Housing Finance Agencies are defining, measuring, and even mapping opportunity in their states.