This report examines the factors affecting the cost of developing affordable multifamily rental housing
using the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC). Using data provided by 14 LIHTC
syndicators, we analyze development cost data for more than 2,500 projects developed through the
LIHTC program and placed into service between 2011 and 2016. These projects include over 160,000
Our sample includes approximately 47% of the units in properties developed with 9% credits and 20% of
the units in properties developed with 4% credits placed into service between 2011 and 2016. The sample
spans the country, including at least two projects in every state and more than 25 projects in each of 35
The primary measure of cost used in this quantitative analysis is “per-unit TDC” which reflects the total
development cost for a project (including the cost of land) divided by the number of units in the project.
The median per-unit TDC in our sample was $164,757, which means that half of the units had TDC
below this level and half had per-unit TDC above that level. Three-quarters of units had per-unit TDC at
or below $224,903 and one-quarter had per-unit TDC at or below $121,254.