Vacant LIHTC Units Nationwide May Be Offered to Displaced Disaster Victims

October 11, 2017
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The IRS recently announced that it has provided temporary relief from certain requirements of the Internal Revenue Code to allow owners and operators of LIHTC sites located anywhere in the United States and its possessions to provide temporary emergency housing to individuals who are displaced by a major disaster from their principal residences, regardless of income. In addition to normally applicable LIHTC income limits, the IRS has authorized owners and operators to disregard transience rules, or requirements for a minimum length of occupancy. Although owners and operators of low-income housing projects may offer temporary housing, they are not required to do so. For those who do, however, special rules detailed in Revenue Procedure 2014-49 and Revenue Procedure 2014-50 apply.

The notice applies to all LIHTC sites anywhere in the United States and all individuals displaced by a major disaster who lived in a county or other local jurisdiction designated for individual assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Currently, this includes parts of Texas, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The guidance also notes that individuals affected by recent major disasters other than Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria—such as those impacted by wildfires, tornadoes, and other storms—may also qualify for emergency housing relief. The relief automatically applies as soon as the president declares a major disaster and FEMA designates any locality for individual or public assistance. This temporary relief extends for one year after the president declares a major disaster, or through August 2018.