VHFA seeks public comment on Tax Credit Qualified Allocation Plan

By: Mia Watson

Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is seeking feedback and comments on the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) that guides the agency in making housing tax credit allocation decisions. The Agency has opened the initial comment period and will close the period on Friday, April 15, 2020. The current 2020-2021 QAP is available on VHFA’s website.

The Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program, which is governed by Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code, requires that each tax credit allocating agency maintain a Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) that sets eligibility and criteria for awarding state and federal tax credits to developers of affordable housing. The QAP is a compilation of IRS mandates, national best practices and state housing priorities.

In Vermont, VHFA convenes the Joint Committee on Tax Credits, which solicits public feedback, reviews the policies in the QAP and makes recommendations to the VHFA Board of Commissioners. The Board votes to adopt the plan before being sent to the Governor for approval. VHFA’s goal is to update the QAP as needed with sufficient notice that developers are able to respond accordingly and bring projects that reflect the criteria of the QAP, with a target of two years between substantial updates.

To arrive at recommendations for updates to criteria and policies in the QAP, VHFA staff facilitate public comment prior to presenting a recommended QAP. Following a review of comments, VHFA will be organizing a number of public outreach meetings around various QAP-related topics between April and July of 2020. A draft 2022-2023 QAP is expected to be available for public comment in the fall of 2020, and VHFA staff expect to make recommendations on QAP updates to the Joint Committee on Tax Credits before the end of 2020. By having the QAP approved a year in advance of 2022 applications, potential applicants will have time to consider any substantial updates in planning 2022 projects.

Comments on the QAP can be submitted via VHFA’s website. To learn more about this process, contact VHFA’s Community Development Department at developmentdept@vhfa.org or by mail at 164 Saint Paul Street, Burlington VT, 05402.

Pictured: Monument View in Bennington. The project received federal tax credits allocated by VHFA.