The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that recommends additional oversight on the LIHTC program. According to the IRS, the agency does not have the authority or resources to collect and report detailed information on the tax credit program, while HUD does not have the authority to collect cost data.

In 2018, the GAO determined the per-unit cost of 1,849 LIHTC projects in selected locations, using project characteristics, such as construction type (new construction or rehabilitation), number of units, target income level (low-income or mixed), location (urban, suburban, or rural) and local housing market conditions explained some cost differences across projects. The report found that costs varied widely among the 12 housing finance agencies in the study, and it was difficult to compare cost drivers and trends across locations because federal oversight of cost data is limited, and data collection is inconsistent. The GAO recommended designating an agency to collect and report on project development costs, which may address existing oversight challenges. Additionally, standardization of cost data may allow for better analysis of cost drivers and cost-management practices to increase the program’s efficiency.