Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Susan Gooden


Structural inequalities within the social and economic environment have wide reaching impacts on the housing conditions of the poor. These households are marginalized by swelling housing cost burdens, shelter insufficiency, and sociospatial restriction to the lowest income communities. Housing research has examined the correlation between policy and the social location of low-income individuals. However, very little research analyzes the intersection of low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) policy design and sociospatial trends among low-income households. Using content analysis, the purpose of this dissertation is to determine whether the policy documents that guide allocation of the LIHTC encourage poverty deconcentration. The research questions are (a) How have states represented sociospatial themes in their low-income housing tax credit allocation plans and do these sociospatial themes emphasize poverty deconcentration? (b) How have these priorities changed over time? and (c) Are there correlations between changes in poverty concentration and emphasis of poverty deconcentration within state low-income housing qualified allocation plan designs? The findings of this study suggest that: (1) The social constructs embedded into the QAP policy instrument design confines understanding of the LIHTC program to advantaged and contender social groups; (2) Sociospatial themes have evolved between 2000 and 2010. There was a significant shift from 2000 to 2010 with the inclusion of priorities related to the accessibility of transportation and the quality of services within targeted communities; (3) Poverty deconcentration themes represented approximately 27 percent of the sociospatial themes in 2000 and 2010. There was a marginal change in the weight of these themes over time. (4) There were correlations between changes in MSA poverty concentration and poverty deconcentration priorities within QAP. The direction and the degree of these changes were correlated with region and political ideology. This study shows that opportunities exist to enhance outcomes within the documents that guide allocation of LIHTC. Doing so could serve as an important step toward improving the well-being of low-income households.


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Date of Submission

May 2014