This morning, Governor Eric Greitens, his appointee Jason Crowell, and the rest of the Missouri Housing Development Commission voted not to allocate $140 million in state low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) this upcoming year. Eric Greitens has called LIHTC a “special interest” tax credit, and he has said the tax credit is inefficient.
This runs counter to a study, “Cost/Benefit Analysis of the Missouri Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program” from the Missouri Housing Development Commission. This study found the following:
- Each dollar of state tax credit awarded generates $9.60 of economic activity.
- Each dollar of state tax credit awarded increases state gross domestic product (GDP) by $5.45.
- Rents would have to increase 18.7% to 24.3% in order to absorb the additional costs from the elimination of Missouri LIHTC.
LIHTC provide housing for senior citizens, working families, and veterans. These developments stabilize families, positively impact neighborhoods, and keep children from being homeless.
Outside of the negative economic implications of this decision, we also have what I believe is a moral responsibility. It is hard for me to comprehend how someone can think that increased homelessness and poverty for the most vulnerable in our society (senior citizens, working families, children, individuals with mental health diagnoses, veterans, etc.) is a good idea in any way. This will be hurtful, long lasting, and economically inefficient.
We have had the opportunity to be engaged in two projects to provide affordable housing for these vulnerable communities. We know first-hand how important this work is, and we are saddened by this development. We hope that the commission will reconsider this decision.