Neighbourhood valuation effects from new construction of low-income housing tax credit projects in Iowa: A natural experiment

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Journal Article
Urban Studies, 2010, 47 (8), pp. 1745 - 1771
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This paper estimates the valuation effects from new construction of low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) projects on neighbouring single-family homes in Polk County, Iowa. The evaluative models estimate the impact from LIHTC project locations on assessed values using a 1999-2007 panel of neighbours and their matches, while controlling for unobserved heterogeneity. The results suggest that the siting of new low-rise, concentrated low-income LIHTC projects is associated with a 2-4 per cent slower rate of nearby single-family home valuation and that these effects persisted for five or more years after project approval. On the other hand, no clear valuation effect is detected when the LIHTC project is high quality and targeted to mixed-income groups. It is also found that new construction LIHTC projects serving the elderly, including assisted living, are associated with a 2-4 per cent faster rate of growth in neighbouring single-family home values, although the acceleration appears to be short lived. It is concluded that concentrating low-income renters in subsidised housing projects has negative consequences for neighbouring property values that might be avoided with tenant income mixing and improved site planning and design. © 2010 Urban Studies Journal Limited.
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