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Developing a Renter’s Guide to Low Income Housing Tax Credits (Theo Hilton)

My Mellon funded community engaged research project is a collaboration with Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, a community land trust based in Mid-City. In addition to providing permanently affordable housing units, JPNSI produces cutting edge policy oriented research on housing trends in Orleans Parish. After 53 low income families were evicted from a local privately owned subsidized housing development, folks at JPNSI were curious about the future of other middle and low income housing units in the city. Since developers use a number of tax incentives and grants, which come with numerous different requirements for providing affordable units, ascertaining the future affordability of housing indeed proves quite difficult.

Guided by my advisors at JPNSI, I researched tax credit contracts at the Orleans Parish Land Records Office to compile a database of properties that had participated in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. I am now working with the organization to produce a guidebook and website to help renters and activists better understand the constellation of programs controlling affordable housing on the private market, and the state of affordable units in Orleans Parish specifically. This report should be completed by the end of 2019.