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The Impact of Low Income Housing Tax Credit Development on a Local School District

What is the impact of Low Income Housing Tax Credit Units on local school districts? We surveyed 3,433 LIHTC units in 59 developments in order to find out.

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program, established in 1986, has become the primary vehicle for building affordable multifamily housing in the 10 years since its inception. The household income limits inherent to the program have made it a popular housing alternative for moderate income families with children, who often have a relatively limited number of housing alternatives.

Because LIHTC projects are perceived as attracting a disproportionate number of families, many communities have opposed them, claiming that they will have a disproportionate impact on the local school district.

Danter and Associates was commissioned to study the relative impact of LIHTC households with children on a local school district.

In order to identify the impact of LIHTC development on a local school district, Danter and Associates surveyed resident managers and management companies at 59 LIHTC developments in a variety of locations, including urban, suburban, small cities and villages in Ohio. We asked the managers to identify the number of households with children by unit size, the age of the children, and, whenever possible, identify household size. Some projects were unable to provide household-level demographic information.

Survey Results

The 3,433 total units contained 4,913 children, an average of 1.43 children per rental unit. Of these children, 2,250 (0.66 per unit) were below 6 years of age (preschool), and 2,668 children (0.78 per unit) were of school age

Families with children had an average of 1.94 children per household. Families with children in two-bedroom units averaged 1.32 children per unit, while those in three-bedroom units averaged 2.10 children per unit.

The number of children per unit increased with the number of bedrooms. There were 2,069 children in 1,885 two-bedroom units, an average of 1.10 children per unit. Of these, 910 children (0.48 per unit) were of school age and 1,158 (0.61 per unit) were preschool. Of particular interest is that, of the two-bedroom households with children, 72.5% had only one child. Of the two-bedroom households with school age children, 58.9% had only one child.

There were 2,552 children in 1,348 three-bedroom units, an average of 1.89 children per unit. Of these, 1,563 children (1.16 per unit) were of school age and 989 (0.73 per unit) were preschool. Of the three-bedroom households with children, a total of 23.8% contain only one child, 42.3% contain two children, 33.5% contain three children, and 0.4% contain four children. Of the three-bedroom households with only one child, the majority (68.1%) contain a preschooler, with the remainder (31.9%) containing a school age child.

There were 270 children in 82 four-bedroom units, an average of 3.29 children per unit. Of these, 183 (2.23 per unit) were of school age and 87 (1.06 per unit) were preschool.



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