Date of Award

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Urban Studies

First Advisor

Marcus L Britton

Committee Members

Anne Bonds, Arijit H Sen, Prentiss A Dantzler


Low-Income Housing Policy, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), Mixed methods, Poverty Deconcentration, Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP)


Since its inception in 1986, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)—one of the largest subsidized affordable rental housing programs in the U.S.—has been criticized for exacerbating poverty concentration by clustering low-income housing in racially segregated minority communities and high-poverty neighborhoods. Such clustering is deemed problematic, as the adverse effects of concentrated poverty on life chances and outcomes for individuals and families are well documented in social science research. Since states establish guidelines and criteria for tax credit awards through Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs), scholars argue that it could serve as a powerful tool to promote poverty deconcentration. This study, thus, employs theoretical approaches to poverty concentration, neighborhood effects, and housing policy to investigate whether QAPs have promoted poverty deconcentration between 2005 and 2015. Using mixed methods, this study analyzes QAP changes and assesses their impact on LIHTC siting. This research finds that majority U.S. states prioritized poverty deconcentration goals in their QAPs between the selected years. By creating an index, this research categorizes states into three distinct groups based on the degree of their prioritization of poverty deconcentration and finds that QAPs significantly influence the socio-spatial pattern of LIHTC development. In general, states with higher index values promoted poverty deconcentration by increasing LIHTC developments in low-poverty, high-opportunity areas, whereas states with lower index values limited LIHTC developments in high-poverty areas.

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