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Working Paper

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 with the intent to explore whether the subsidy overlap responds to needs unmet by the HCV program alone. Lacking the data to contrast HCV use in and out of LIHTC units, we turn to a comparison of HCV users in LIHTC units relative to the overall HCV population. Our analysis of 2011 tenant-level LIHTC data from Ohio and HCV data from HUD suggests place-based vouchers, which must be redeemed in an LIHTC unit, are more likely allocated to extremely low-income or special-needs households. On the other hand, HCV users who freely choose to redeem their voucher in an LIHTC unit are similar to the overall HCV population in terms of incomes and ethnicity, although they tend to be older. There is little evidence that using both programs in concert enables access to better neighborhoods for HCV users: households across both programs live in neighborhoods that tend to have poverty rates above 20 percent, with HCV-LIHTC users actually living in higher-poverty neighborhoods in most urban Ohio counties when compared to the HCV population as a whole.

Working Papers of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment on research in progress. They may not have been subject to the formal editorial review accorded official Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland publications. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Federal Reserve System.

Suggested Citation

Barkley, Brett, Amy Higgins, and Francisca García-Cobián Richter. 2014. “Do Tenant- and Place-Based Rental Housing Programs Complement Each Other? Evidence from Ohio.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 14-29.