Investing in affordable housing yields compelling returns - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Investing in affordable housing yields compelling returns reports that Google and other large companies are investing in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, earning returns up to 10 percent.

“The surprise isn’t that Google invested,” said David Smith, chairman of Recap Real Estate Advisors, a Boston-based firm that focuses on multifamily properties. “The surprise would be if anyone in the Fortune 100 with reliable earnings is not investing in this environment.”

Google and Waste Management pointed to their interest in supporting affordable housing, while at the same time earning competitive returns, as a compelling argument supporting these investments. The article goes on to explain that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's collapse left a significant gap in the tax credit market, as they were the largest investors in tax credits.

Taxpayers in Illinois have another opportunity to buy tax credits and support affordable housing, through the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit program. The Illinois Housing Development Authority issues these tax credits to support qualified affordable housing deals, and investors can purchase the credits - supporting needed affordable housing and offsetting their tax liability.

The Illinois tax credit has a set-aside for employer-assisted housing which provides a 50 percent tax credit for employers providing housing assistance to their workers through an approved program. MPC can help companies set up employer-assisted housing programs (in Illinois and around the country) and can help link potential tax credit buyers with nonprofit employers offering EAH programs in Illinois. More information is available at


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For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

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