The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), published a notice designating 2021 QCTs and DDAs on September 24, 2020 in the Federal Register. Designations are made annually for all 50 states including the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rica and the US Virgin Islands. The Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs) and Difficult Development Areas (DDAs) are qualified for 30% basis boost in LIHTC properties under Internal Revenue Code Section 42.
DDAs, defined as “areas with high land, construction and utility costs relative to the area median income and are based on Fair Market Rents, income limits, the 2010 census, and 5 year American Community Survey (ACS) data” (HUD). QCTs, are “areas where either 50 percent or more of the households have an income less than 60 percent of the AMGI for such year or have poverty rate of a least 25 percent” (HUD).
The American Community Survey (ACS) is not widely known as the census. The census collects data from every household every 10 years. However, the ACS gathers data every year from random addresses. The ACS like the census is required by law under Title 13, US Code. The ACS data focuses annually on housing, jobs, and education along with social and economic needs of communities. Struggling communities experienced another devastating blow this year, a pandemic.
Since SARS-Cov-2 has greatly devastated communities across the world, it is no surprise that communities with lower Area Median Gross Income levels and high poverty rates have been hit the hardest.
The challenges Developer’s face with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) projects are certainly compounded as the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic continues to rage. The pandemic has resurfaced the disparities around housing, a basic need, suggesting that creative and new initiatives to support Affordable Housing are needed in the foreseeable future just like they have been in the past.
By: Quinn Newton