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Calls for Changes in Housing Finance

The low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program should change to better aid the formerly homeless seeking housing, according to legislation introduced in the Board of Supervisors in February.

District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell called for the LIHTC program to let the formerly homeless attend school full-time without losing their eligibility for LIHTC-funded housing. Though intended to prevent the tax credits from being used to fund dormitories, it has no exception for the homeless, formerly homeless, or veterans.

“It’s beyond belief that the formerly homeless have to choose between a full-time education, or keeping a roof over their head,” said Farrell.

The LIHTC program is a system for financing affordable housing development and preservation that grew up in the wake of the federal government’s exit from public housing. Developers seek the tax credits, which are often sold to commercial businesses and investors in return for dollars for the housing projects. San Francisco has 126 housing sites funded through the LIHTC program.

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