HUD: Low-income housing may disappear

According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), low-income housing is still affordable 15 years after the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), but other factors may eventually reduce the amount of affordable units.

In the report, HUD claimed that low-income housing developments remained affordable after the required 15-year "affordability period." However, the department warns that once restrictions are lifted from the developments, more than one million units could become market-rate rentals. In particular danger, according to HUD, are privately-owned developments located in desirable locations that could potentially be sold for profit by rental property management officials.

The LITHC program was started in 1987 to promote the creation of affordable housing. Since the program began, it has helped to produce close to 2.2 million affordable apartments, or one third of all multi-family rental housing constructed between 1987 and 2006.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), it is extremely difficult for low-income families to afford apartments in the U.S. at current fair-market prices. The NLIHC released a report showing that in order to afford a two-bedroom unit rented at fair-market rates, an average renter needs to make at least $18.25 per hour.