Daniel Hemel: Is the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit “Keeping Cities Segregated”?

Is the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit “Keeping Cities Segregated”?
Daniel Hemel
Whatever Source Derived
July 3, 2017

The front page of the New York Times this morning features a full-frontal assault on the low-income housing tax credit, the largest federal subsidy for the development of affordable housing. The charge against the credit is that the housing units it subsidizes are “disproportionately built in majority nonwhite communities,” which “means . . . that the federal government is essentially helping to maintain entrenched racial divides.” The first part of that claim is indisputably true: developments receiving low-income housing tax credits are, indeed, disproportionately located in communities with large nonwhite populations. But it does not therefore follow that the federal government, through the credit, is perpetuating residential segregation.

Faculty: 
Daniel Hemel