Opening Doors to Affordable Housing: The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program and People with Conviction Histories

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Housing is a human right. However, for many people in the United States, the right to safe and affordable housing is not secure. Discriminatory and restrictive policies bar admission to housing for millions of people with a history of arrest or conviction. But housing providers and policymakers are now taking steps to address this. In recent years, the agencies that administer the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program have started to adopt more inclusive policies. In this report, Vera consolidates state housing finance agencies’ rules and regulations that determine admission to affordable housing for people with conviction histories. The policies across the country reflect varying admissions standards, highlighting opportunities for jurisdictions to increase housing stability and public safety.

Key Takeaway

As more state housing finance agencies consider adopting inclusive policies and opening doors to affordable housing for people with conviction histories, housing insecurity will decrease for this vulnerable population. Only then can we establish a foundation for improved well-being, increased public safety, and, ultimately, thriving communities.

Publication Highlights

  • Housing instability exposes people to increased interactions with police, increasing the likelihood of arrest and contributing to the revolving door of homelessness and incarceration.

  • Access to safe and affordable housing increases the chances that a person returning home from prison or jail will receive family support, find and maintain employment, and avoid additional convictions.

Key Facts