THDA says its economic impact jumps to $1.1 billion

Hank Hayes • May 17, 2018 at 10:29 AM

KINGSPORT — $1.1 billion. That’s the estimated total contribution of Tennessee Housing Development Agency-related activities to the state’s economy in 2017, the organization reported at the recent Tennessee Housing Conference held at the MeadowView Marriott.

“THDA’s programs contributed significantly more in the state’s economy,” THDA staff economist Hulya Arik noted. “In 2017, our total impact was $1.1 billion. Compared to $835 million in 2013, that is a big increase.”

In conducting its economic analysis, the THDA assessed its affordable housing programs; its Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program and the Section 8 Rental Housing Programs; the impacts of programs and policies that reduced housing-related expenses (such as energy costs); programs that provided mortgage products to low- and moderate-income households; programs that provided shelter for the homeless and programs that helped current homeowners keep their homes (such as mortgage assistance, foreclosure counseling and repair/rehab programs).

The THDA said its Homeownership Loan Programs created more than 2,900 homeowners during 2017, with loans totaling $368.1 million.

“Every $100 of THDA-related activities generated an additional $74 in business revenues,” THDA reported. “THDA-related activities generated $349 million in wages and salaries in 2017. … Every $100 of personal income produced an additional $78 of wages and salaries in the local economy. … THDA-related activities created 7,477 jobs in 2017. … Every 100 jobs created by THDA-related activities, primarily in the construction sector, generated 85 additional jobs throughout the local economy.”

Arik said THDA’s economic impact was $8 million in Sullivan County and $10 million in Washington County.

Home prices in Tennessee, meanwhile, are at a record high, according to the agency. Tennessee’s median home price grew by 5.4 percent in 2016, reaching a record $185,000.

“Last year we had the biggest production in single-family mortgages and in multi-family development that we’ve ever had,” THDA chief strategy officer Lorrie Shearon said at the housing conference. “As for the next five years, everything depends on the economy and interest rates … and tax reform.”

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