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State offers housing help to Harvey victims

Staff Reports • Updated Aug 31, 2017 at 8:00 AM

NASHVILLE – Effective immediately, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency is waiving all income restrictions on apartment units in its Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program for victims of Hurricane Harvey who flee to Tennessee.

Lease-term restrictions are also being suspended, meaning landlords in the program can offer leases to hurricane victims as short as one month or on a month-to-month basis.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Texas who have lost their homes, and we’re exploring every possible opportunity to help,” said THDA executive director Ralph M. Perrey. “Many hurricane victims have fled to Tennessee and need short-term housing. We’re opening up LIHTC properties so that any and all vacancies are available to them, without restrictions on income and length of lease.”

Typically, rental properties built or renovated with the help of federal tax credits under the LIHTC program must restrict some or all units to be leased only to households of low income. Compliance is strictly monitored by THDA and the IRS. However, THDA and the IRS announced they will waive these restrictions if the prospective tenant is a victim of Hurricane Harvey in one of the 18 counties in Texas that were declared federal disaster areas.

Hurricane victims looking for short-term or long-term housing in Tennessee can find vacancies at LIHTC properties and other apartment communities by visiting tnhousingsearch.com, a free resource managed by THDA to help families find affordable housing.

The 18 eligible Texas counties are Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Ford Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Wharton.

LIHTC was established under President Ronald Reagan as an incentive to private developers to build and maintain affordable housing. As the state’s housing finance agency, THDA manages the LIHTC allocations in Tennessee, which to date have been used to finance construction or rehabilitation of more than 61,000 units.

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