Critics say end of housing credits in Mo. would hurt most vulner - KMOV.com

Critics say end of housing credits in Mo. would hurt most vulnerable

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Housing under construction. Credit: KMOV Housing under construction. Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A man who has benefited from an affordable housing tax credit says it will be problematic if the credit goes away in Missouri.

Patrick Woolhouse was able to get off the streets because he found affordable housing. Now, he helps others put their lives back together instead of making difficult choices.

“It allows me to pay for the food that I normally wouldn’t. Because if I had to pay full rent, I’d have to make a choice between paying the electric bill or paying a food bill,” said Woolhouse.

Missouri spends $150 million a year on the Affordable Tax Credit Program.

“The credit draws private investors to invest in affordable housing,” said Stephen Acree with Rise Community Development.

Acree is with a non-profit that builds affordable housing projects. He says cutting the program will drive away builders.

“It’s giving up roughly $100 million or more in private investment annually,” said Acree.

With the tax credits, developers don’t have to borrow as much so they don’t have to charge rent to pay off their loans.

Governor Eric Greitens says as much as half the money isn’t actually used to build housing for the poor. He wants to cut the program to save money.

But critics say less money means fewer construction jobs and fewer affordable home for the most vulnerable.

“Affordable housing for seniors, veterans, disabled people, rural housing, cities in the state. So it’s a huge blow,” said Acree.

The Missouri Housing Development will take a final vote next week on whether or not to end the program.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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