Between 2011 and 2022, the number of nonprofits with shared-equity programs and CLTs increased by 30 percent. Here's a look at the diversity of their programs and portfolios, and who's benefiting from their rise.
A graphic showing buildings, some shaded in red, to illustrate Shelterforce's new Under the Lens series, LIHTC: The Good, the Bad, and the Very Complicated

LIHTC: How It Started, How It’s Going

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit was created in a moment when other real estate tax preferences were going away—but at the time, no one expected it to grow into the main source of affordable housing finance in the country.

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Nineteen people stand in a semi-circle facing the camera, on a partly paved road near some mobile homes and parked cars. They are mixed in age, gender, and skin color, and most have one arm raised high, making a fist; one person is raising both arms with thumbs up, and one person has not raised her arms.

Let’s Harness the Growth of the Shared-Equity Field

Between 2011 and 2022, the number of nonprofits with shared-equity programs and CLTs increased by 30 percent. Here's a look at the diversity of their programs and portfolios, and who's benefiting from their rise.
A woman with long dark hair sits on a sofa; she is visible from the waist up. Her elbows rest on her knees and her hands cover her face, expressing dejection with body language. She is wearing a long-sleeve tan top and the sofa is about the same color. Behind her are pale drapes partially covering a bright window.

Low-Income Residents of Inclusionary Housing Report Facing More Bias

A survey of Cambridge, Massachusetts, residents found that residents of affordable units in inclusionary housing properties reported frequently experiencing bias, especially from management. Here's how we can change that.
Four people lined up for the camera in front of a large screen; they're presenting a workshop. From left, a young bearded man with his hair up. He's wearing a dark polo shirt. A woman with straight brown hair, a big smile, and eyeglasses, wearing a black-sashed gray dress.A young woman with long dark hair in a white cardigan over a gray shell and gray striped pants. Her eyes are crinkling as she smiles. At right, a woman with braids, smiling broadly. She's wearing a black cardigan over a gray turtleneck and blue jeans, and has large silver earrings in a spiral shape.

An Unlikely Collaboration—Real Estate Agent Joins Community Organization to Help Voucher Holders

They've helped more than 100 New York City renters fight source-of-income discrimination and find housing. How did this partnership begin and what lessons can they offer others?
Close up view of rock, scissors, and a sheet of white paper on a red table or desk. The rock is oval gray rock with a band of white quartz through it, the scissors have purple plastic grips and metal blades. The scissors are positioned such that they appear to have just cut the paper, and the rock is resting on the paper, half concealed by a portion of it.

Legitimate Debate or Short-Sighted Complaints? 5 Reasons Affordable Housing Is Expensive to Build

There’s no denying that affordable housing can be expensive to build. But we need to look at the long-term benefits of those investments to see the bigger picture.
View from the street of a bank built in 1917. From the photographer: The building features a red brick exterior with terra cotta trim, decorative panels with Sullivanesque detailing, Sullivanesque trim, a decorative mosaic in the tympanum below the arch above the front entrance with the word “Thrift” in gold lettering in the middle of an expanse of blue tile and decorative white, cream, green, purple, red, and orange tile accents, decorative metal lettering on the facade above the arch displaying the words “The People’s Federal Savings & Loan Assn." ... Gargoyles above the pilasters framing the front entrance, fixed glass windows at the corners, brass double doors.

How the New CRA Rule Will Help, and Where It Falls Short

The assessments that evaluate a bank’s lending practices have improved, but there are several missed opportunities for reform. For one, the new rules won't incorporate a racial analysis into lending examinations.
A sign on a brick wall advising drivers of a steep hill. The sign is all-caps black lettering on a white background.

How ‘Tenant Stewards’ Are Using TOPA to Form a Co-op

Organized by a pandemic-era mutual aid group, this housing cooperative is taking advantage of D.C.’s pioneering Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. But the pressure of paying back a loan with mounting interest could stymie the group's plans to provide affordable housing.
A poster: Q: What Does "Community Benefit" Mean? A: This term means different things to people in the health sector and the community development or organizing sectors, which can get confusing. Two sections of text titled "Hospital Community Benefit Requirement" and "Community Benefits Agreements," with clip art to illustrate. Image links to PDF version

Q: What Does ‘Community Benefit’ Mean?

A: This term means different things to people in the health sector and the community development or organizing sectors, which can get confusing.
A large graffiti'd mural, painted in a cartoonish style, showing an apparently homeless family of three standing near a traffic light. The mother is handing a box or carton of stuff to the child, whose other hand is reaching to the father figure. He is holding up a sign that says "Help us." Facial features were not drawn on these figures, giving them a universal quality.

What’s Driving Homelessness? It’s Not Immigration and It’s Not Opioids.

Homelessness rose by 12 percent between 2022 and 2023. Blaming drug use and immigration for the increase distracts us from the real causes.

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