Sunday, May 20, 2012

@Novogradac posted Year 15 unit estimates for its #LIHTCNOLA conference

About 81,100 #LIHTC units will reach their 15th year in 2012, per the Journal of Tax Credits published by the CPA firm of Novogradac & Co., LLP. It's a total that could matter a lot for tenants in some parts of the country.

This is part of a whole run of estimates the accounting firm has produced for the years 2012 through 2025, estimating how many housing units subsidized by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) will reach Year 15 in each upcoming calendar year.

The quick answer is: fewer each year to a low of 62,348 in 2016, then rising again, then hovering in the low 70,000's through 2019-2023, then skyrocketing to 93,919 in 2024, when special tax credits that were authorized for the Katrina and Rita hurricane recoveries will start emerge from the 15-year pipeline, and back down again from there.

It's important because, in some parts of the U.S., owners of LIHTC projects still have a right to opt out of the low-income housing business when their projects have been "in service" for 15 years. In some cases, the opt-out process can even allow them to raise rents to market rate. It's not a risk for all projects, because some regulators, including California's, have required or persuaded property owners to waive the Year 15 escape clause. But it still matters in enough places to worry about.

The article with the figures originally appeared in the tax journal's March issue. Normally this article is paywalled but the company posted it publicly as part of training materials for a recent conference on affordable housing tax credits. (More conference material on Twitter at #LIHTCNOLA.) The link to the 800KB PDF is here.

I was missing this info in my previous posts of May 11 and May 9 about the new IRS guidance on the rights of LIHTC projects' owners' right to opt out after a property has been "in service" 15 years. Still can't find an estimate of how many Year 15 units are really headed for the opt-out ("qualified contract") scenario because they don't benefit from some kind of prearranged waiver or other deal. But this is really good information as far as it goes, and the Novogradac folks are doing a real public service by posting it.

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