Low Income Housing Tax Credits & Opportunity in Illinois, 2018-2019

Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) 2018-2019 Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) awards points for projects locating in Opportunity Areas or Proximate Opportunity Areas.

“Opportunity Area” shall have the meaning set forth in Scoring Section XIV C2)a) of the QAP.


a) “Community Revitalization Strategy” shall mean a deliberate, concerted, and locally approved plan or documented interconnected series of local efforts with local stakeholder support intended to improve and enhance specific aspects of a Community (defined below).

b) “Community” shall mean the Project area for a Community Revitalization Strategy. An area of a pre-designated size that is larger than a parcel, PUD, or subdivision, but small enough that one municipality or county (or a small conglomerate of municipalities or counties) can have jurisdiction over it. A Community can also align with an existing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Entitlement Area, Neighborhood Strategy Area (NSA), or Community Revitalization Strategy Area (CRSA).

“Revitalization Plan” shall mean a concerted plan for comprehensive community redevelopment that includes housing policy goals, and may also include education, public infrastructure, and employment and job training.


Projects can earn up to ten (10) points for Priority Community Targeting in Either:

a) Opportunity Area

Projects that are located in an Opportunity Area can earn up to ten (10) points. Projects proposed as scattered Site developments that include at least one Site located in a qualified Authority Opportunity Area will be scored pro-rata, based on the proportion of total units that will be located in an Opportunity Area. Opportunity Areas and the methodology used in their determination are revisited on an annual basis. Determination methodology and the current Opportunity Area listings are discussed in full on the Website.

Proximate Opportunity Areas - The Authority will consider on a case-by-case basis the eligibility for Opportunity Area points for Projects located within close proximity to the designated Opportunity Areas. To be considered as a proximate Opportunity Area, a formal letter (as well as supporting evidence) requesting consideration must be submitted with the Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA) submittal and reflected on the PPA Form. Submitted documentation will be reviewed and approved PPAs will be notified of their Proximate Opportunity Area status with the approval of the PPA.

Strict geographic parameters determine eligibility for the Proximate Opportunity Area review. These parameters as well as suggested methodologies for demonstrating eligibility are discussed on the Website.

b) Community Revitalization Strategies

Preserving the balance of affordable housing in Opportunity Areas as well as in distressed community areas, allowing the greatest amount of choice for low-income households to access quality housing is an important goal of the QAP. Community Revitalization Strategies that are likely to lead to measureable increases in the following are eligible for up to ten (10) points.

  • Access to employment and living wage jobs;
  • Access to healthcare and supportive services;
  • Access to a range of community amenities, including (but not limited to) parks, schools, groceries, businesses, and retail locations;
  • Access to transportation;
  • Improvement in the quality of housing stock; and
  • Affordable housing opportunities

To be eligible for up to ten (10) points in this category, Projects cannot receive points in the Opportunity Area Section above, and must meet the Community Revitalization Strategy component thresholds found on the Website.

c) Affordability Risk Index

Projects that are located in a census tract(s) meeting the criteria listed below for Affordability Risk Index Certification can earn up to five (5) points.

A list of the census tracts, their relative rates of change and their Affordability Risk Index score and supporting data can be found in the Affordability Risk Index Data on the Website.

Projects that are scattered site with at least one site in a scoring census tract will receive a pro- rata score based on the proportion of total units located in a scoring census tract. Fractional scores will be rounded up to the next whole number.

The Affordability Risk Index provides for scores for each census tract based on specific factors, all included in U.S. Census documents, and their relative rates of change between the data provided in the 2000 decennial census and the 5-year American Community Survey. A full discussion of current Affordability Risk Index methodology and the list of the current scores by Census Tract are included on the Website.

Contributed By: 
National Housing Trust

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