HUD Releases Housing Credit Tenant Data Report
HUD recently published “Understanding Whom the LIHTC Program Serves: Data on Tenants in LIHTC Units as of December 31, 2014.” The report provides demographic and economic data about LIHTC tenants, including race, ethnicity, family composition, age, income, use of rental assistance, disability status, and monthly rent burden. This report is the third public release of information as required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008.
According to the report, most of the information presented was collected by the administering state housing finance agencies as part of program compliance enforcement. Although tenant income and rent information are collected in accordance with specific program rules, some states haven’t fully adopted HUD’s standards for collecting demographic information. Thus, although income and rent information were collected across states using fairly uniform standards and definitions, the demographic information was not standardized and, in some states, not collected at all. However, even though the information reported didn’t include all tenants served by the LIHTC program, it provides a useful picture of the LIHTC program’s beneficiaries.
The report found that the median annual income of LIHTC households was $17,152, ranging from $5,492 in Puerto Rico to $32,965 in Alaska. Approximately 47.4 percent of tenants were extremely low-income, earning 30 percent or less of area median gross income (AMGI); 34 percent of households were very low-income, earning between 30 and 50 percent of AMGI; and the remaining 19 percent earn more than 50 percent of AMGI.
Approximately 56 percent of households pay 30 percent or less of their income for rent, while 9.5 percent pay over 50 percent of their income for rent. To help with rent, 37.8 percent of tenants reported receiving rental assistance, 43 percent reported not receiving rental assistance, and 20 percent did not report whether they receive rental assistance. Here, HUD was able to collect data on the use of rental assistance from only 69.5 percent of LIHTC sites.
According to the report, 23 percent of tenants identified their race as white, 23 percent identified as black or African American, 9 percent identified as Hispanic, 2 percent identified as Asian, and 1 percent identified as either American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander. Approximately 40 percent of respondents did not report on race or ethnicity, as allowed under fair housing laws.
In terms of disability status, 9.5 percent of households included at least one member with a disability. Approximately 25.8 percent of households had at least one member 62 years of age or older, and 28.3 percent of households had at least one member under the age of 18.