Background Note | HBS Case Collection | June 2014 (Revised April 2015)

Affordable Housing and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits in the United States

by Arthur I Segel and Nicolas P. Retsinas


This background note explores the basic themes surrounding the government's approach to providing housing: namely its shift from a supplier and builder of affordable housing to an approach that focuses on demand-side solutions and indirect subsidies to private developers. In addition to a shift from supply-based to demand-based solutions, there is an on-going debate about whether to provide people-based or place-based solutions. The above shift and debate reflects the troubles encountered in the original urban renewal efforts, and the desire today to provide affordable housing that is close to jobs and transportation, that is mixed-income, and contextual to its surrounding development.

Keywords: Housing; Welfare or Wellbeing; Government and Politics;


Segel, Arthur I., and Nicolas P. Retsinas. "Affordable Housing and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits in the United States." Harvard Business School Background Note 214-107, June 2014. (Revised April 2015.)