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Do Tenant- and Place-Based Rental Housing Programs Complement Each Other? Evidence from Ohio


We characterize Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) use in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) units and explore whether the subsidy overlap responds to needs unmet by the HCV program alone. We present a subsidy allocation model allowing for complementarity of tenant-based and place-based subsidies to guide our analysis. Findings for Ohio in 2011 suggest vouchers tied to LIHTC units are more likely allocated to very poor households with special needs. We also find that HCV users who freely choose to redeem their voucher in a LIHTC unit make up a somewhat larger share of LIHTC households in tighter or less affordable markets. There is little evidence that using both programs in concert enables access to better neighborhoods: households across both programs live in neighborhoods that tend to have above 20% poverty rates, with HCVLIHTC users actually living in higher poverty neighborhoods in the most urban Ohio counties when compared to the HCV population as a whole.

Keywords: Affordable Housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, Housing Policy, Neighborhood Quality.

JEL Codes: R38, H71, R23.

* First version was November 2014.


Barkley, Brett, Amy Higgins, and Francisca G.-C. Richter, 2016. “Do Tenant- and Place-Based Rental Housing Programs Complement Each Other? Evidence from Ohio,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 14-29R.

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