Texas Lags in serving the housing needs of SSI recipients

Stephen F. Gold, an attorney who specializes in civil rights and represents only persons with disabilities, publishes an email Information Bulletin called “Steve Gold’s Treasured Bits of Information.”  Last month he issued a bulletin titled Targeting Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to People on SSI? Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people who have little or no income.

The bulletin contained a list, based the 2008 NCSHA Annual Survey, that indicated the percentage each state targeted their federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to people at or below 30% AMFI.

As we highlighted in our recommendation #2 regarding TDHCA’ Sunset review, units targeted at the 30% AMFI benchmark often fails to reach people on SSI.  SSI is often only 15% or less than AMFI.

Nevertheless, even by this measurement, Texas lags behind 25 other states in serving people on SSI:  Texas ranked 26th of 49 states in targeting units at people with incomes at or below 30% of AMFI.  (see list below the jump)

With only 4% of units targeted at 30% of AMFI, Texas provides only HALF the national average percent of units targeted at this extremely low income population.  By comparison, 53% of the LIHTC units created in Vermont are targeted at residents at 30% of AMFI.

The 2010 State of Texas Low Income Housing Plan shows that greatest amount of unmet housing need in Texas remains in the those earning below 30% of AMFI.  Other states have shown that the LIHTC program can serve this population.

Texas can, and should, structure its program to do better.

Rank State Percent of LIHTC Units Targeted for People with Incomes “at or below” 30%  of State’s AMFI.
1 Vermont 53%
2 Louisiana 47
3 Connecticut 33
4 North Carolina 29
5 Utah 26
6 Massachus 24
7 Washington 21
8 New Mexico 12
9 California 11
10 Maryland 11
11 Michigan 10
12 Idaho 9%
13 Indiana 9%
14 Minnesota 9%
15 New Jersey 9%
16 PA (under 20%of AMI) 9%
17 D.C. 8%
18 Wyoming 7%
19 Arkansas 6%
20 Illinois (Chicago DoH) 6%
21 Montana 6%
22 Rhode Island 6%
23 Hawaii 5%
24 Colorado 4%
25 Oregon 4%
26 Texas 4%
27 Florida 3%
28 New York 3%
29 Wisconsin 3%
30 North Dakota 2%
31 Alaska 1%
32 Arizona 0%
33 Delaware 0%
34 Georgia 0%
35 Iowa 0%
36 Kansas 0%
37 Kentucky 0%
38 Maine 0%
39 Mississippi 0%
40 Nebraska 0%
41 Nevada 0%
42 New Hampshire 0%
43 Ohio 0%
44 Oklahoma 0%
45 South Carolina 0%
46 South Dakota 0%
47 West Virginia 0%
48 Virginia 0%
49 Alabama 0%
50 Illinois n.a.
51 Missouri n.a.
52 Tennessee n.a.
National 8%

Source: Steve Gold’s Treasured Bits of Information, April 2, 2010, corrected via personal correspondence with the Virginia Housing Development Authority

H/T TCDD

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