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Program vital for West Virginia

CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Housing Development Fund is taking time in 2016 to celebrate 30 years of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (the “LIHTCP”).

Signed into law as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the LIHTCP was enacted by Congress to provide the private market with an incentive to invest in affordable rental housing. The LIHTCP is currently the primary federal program for the production of affordable low-income residential rental housing, and is considered the most successful affordable rental housing program in the country’s history.

“For 30 years, the LIHTCP has helped West Virginians and West Virginia families,” said Erica Boggess, the Fund’s Acting Executive Director. “For so many, this has been a transformative program. We are proud of the work we’ve done with our partners from across the housing industry to ensure that so many have a safe, affordable place to call home.”

“Teachers, emergency responders, miners, nurses, police officers, retirees, those living on a fixed income – these are the people who benefit most from this program,” Boggess added.

In the Mountain State, we have produced 14,202 housing units in that 30-year span. The LIHTCP transcends housing. Properties produced by the LIHTCP create jobs, attract new businesses and contribute to a community’s tax base. According to a report from the National Association of Home Builders, the creation of new developments and the preservation and rehabilitation of older structures through the LIHTCP over the last five years is estimated to have produced:

  • 15,000 jobs
  • $120 million in local payrolls
  • $114 million in state and local revenues
  • $331 million in federal revenue

Across the nation, the LIHTCP has helped develop 2.71 million homes through 2012 and finances approximately 95,000 affordable residential rental units each year. It also creates about 96,000 jobs a year, according to a report issued by Novogradac & Company, an accounting firm that specializes in LIHTCP developments.

“The tax credit program has truly stood the test of time,” said Michelle Wilshere, the Fund’s Managing Director of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, who has worked for the Fund in the LIHTCP since 1998. “For so many, this program gives them a real chance to find safe, affordable housing.  It works and works well.  I feel blessed to be able to work in a program which makes such a marked difference in the lives of West Virginians.“

Wilshere noted that a number of studies have shown LIHTCP developments have a positive impact on neighborhoods. Well-planned and targeted developments are often credited with revitalizing communities and helping areas begin to grow.

Boggess added that the Fund is just part of what makes the LIHTCP so successful. She credited developers, non-profit organizations and members of the building community for the LIHTCP’s longevity.

“The LIHTCP meets critical needs in this state,” she said.  “We are excited about the future of this program.”

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