About this Episode – Inside a LIHTC Investment with Ben Stevens

Welcome to the A.CRE Audio Series! On this episode, I am here once again with the creators of the Adventures in CRE website, Spencer Burton and Michael Belasco. Today we are joined by Ben Stevens to talk about the birth of a LIHTC building.

Ben Stevens is a project manager for a real estate development firm in Chicago. He holds an MBA in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. On the side, he hosts The Skyline Forum. He is also the author of the new book, The Birth of a Building. Ben lives in Chicago with his wife and two children.

Today we are starting a two-part episode with Ben. We are specifically talk about LIHTC-supported investments. We also jump into a variety of other topics based on Ben’s knowledge, including lessons he has learned and how allocation is set up.

Show Notes – S2E5: Inside a LIHTC Investment with Ben Stevens

  • Affordable housing [3:48]
    • In the plain sense, they may mean do you pay a certain percentage of your income to live where you live.
    • There’s an economic question and is there enough housing that is affordable.
    • The affordable housing debate is what people are typically referring to.
    • If there isn’t enough affordable housing, should the government get involved?
    • If the government gets involved in some financial way to solve the problem, how should they do that?
  • Solving the affordable housing problem [4:32]
    • Learning from the past and what went wrong is why we have the tools that we have.
    • Affordable vs dangerous housing.
    • Decisions made to cut costs.
    • When affordable housing first started, people paid their rent with their incomes. It had a lower middle-class feel.
    • The government then made affordable housing based on income. It became the best deal for people who don’t have any income.
  • The different sides [11:11]
    • Understanding the different benefits.
  • What is LIHTC? [12:21]
    • LIHTC is the low-income housing tax credit.
    • Setting a rent floor.
    • Financing with what amounts to free money.
  • How allocation is set up [18:27]
  • What stage are credits being bought? [20:41]

Resources from this Episode