Guest Opinion: Senate bill would increase investment in affordable housing

By: Phyllis Chamberlain, Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Updated: August 10, 2017 — 8:22 AM EDT

Did you know that every dollar of federal tax credits issued has been generating roughly 10 times the level of investment? When it comes to a housing program in Pennsylvania, thankfully, it’s become a proven fact.

Each year, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) distributes nearly $30 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). As a result, the credits have consistently led to almost $300 million of new investment in housing, according to PHFA – enabling developers to create or rehabilitate more than 84,000 affordable places to live for more than 200,000 Pennsylvanians.

It’s not just low-income Pennsylvanians who are experiencing the benefits. Despite the program’s name, LIHTC serves those whose incomes are less than 60 percent of the area’s median income. In reality, they’re helping our friends, neighbors, and family members, as well as seniors, veterans, and those with disabilities who live in our communities.

Given the results, it may not be surprising that LIHTC has been hailed as one of the most effective housing programs in history. During a recent U.S. Senate hearing, a panel of experts delivered glowingly positive testimony about the success of state administrators like PHFA.

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