What Is Low Income Housing?

Need for Affordable Housing

Many people in the U.S. suffer from an inability to afford housing. When a family or individual has to spend more than 30 percent of its income on a housing payment, this is considered to be a financial strain. When this occurs, the consumer may not have enough money to pay for the things like food and transportation. By lowering the financial burden that is associated with housing costs, HUD can make life easier on many low income people.

HUD Grants

HUD is a government organization that has the mission of providing more affordable housing for people with low incomes. To accomplish this goal, HUD regularly issues grants to local government programs. This grant money is then used by local governments to invest in low-income housing. These are also sometimes referred to as affordable housing programs. The HOME Program from HUD is one of the primary grant programs that local governments use to obtain funding to help build low income housing.

Tax Credits

Instead of providing money directly to help build houses, HUD also has a program that issues tax credits to developers who are willing to invest in low-income housing. This low-income housing tax credit program provides an incentive for developers to build low-income housing. If a developer is chosen by the city or county government to complete a housing project, it can claim tax credits after the job is completed. This can help offset tax liability on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Revitalizing Areas

HUD also has a program that is designed to help revitalizing and rebuild areas within cities that have become run-down. The Homeownership Zone program aims to provide incentives for cities to reclaim areas that have become vacant and rebuild them. By bringing these buildings back up to a livable condition it can reinvigorate the local economy and provide more affordable housing options for those who need access to them. Many areas have been successfully rebuilt over the years through the Homeownership Zone program.