Tax-Credit Apartments for Low-Income Residents

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Tax-Credit Apartments & Income-Based Apartments.  The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program makes the dream of affordable housing possible.  Qualified tenants pay lower than market rents by offering tax incentives to the apartment owners.

You may live in upscale apartment development and not realize that people in your complex do not pay market rent.  The same apartment can go for different amounts depending on the tenant’s income (tiered rent structure).  Also, tax-credit and income-based apartments do not necessarily mean you have to live in a bad neighborhood.

One of the most expensive bills you will have each month is housing.  Rent prices never go down and always go up.  Too often, salaries do not keep up with standard living costs.  If you are work for minimum wage or even $15 an hour, you might need rent assistance, especially if you have children.

Tax-credit apartments or income-based apartments charge renters according to their monthly salary.  Like many low-income housing programs, tax-credit or income-based apartments do not have long waiting lists.  Some Section 8 housing may have two or more year waiting lists.

Who is Eligible for Tax-Credit Apartments?

A family would include one or more people and families with children. Single people are not disqualified from qualifying for tax credit apartments.  Eligible applicants generally must earn less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) when they occupy the apartment.   This may vary depending on the community you apply to. This is called the income limit, and the amount increases for each additional member of the household (including children).

You qualify for government assistance with (housing low-income housing) when your gross family income should be at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).  You must also meet other standard requirements. This is determined as the credit limit or the least amount you can earn and still qualify.  You can check the amount you can expect to pay in your area by going to  Affordable Housing Online and go to “Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Credits.

What is the Screening Process

Like any other apartment complex, individual background checks will be done on all applicants. These are the thing that will determine if you are a good match for that property.

Credit Report Check

Good credit is always helpful in these situations but depends on the credit requirements for the particular apartment you are applying to.

Rental History

Rental history will also be looked at to determine a record of if you paid your rent on time, if there were complaints from neighbors about you, etc. If you have had serious problems with other properties, it will hurt your chances of getting an apartment.

Criminal Background

You will have to undergo a criminal background check. Which is standard practice? They want to know who they are renting to, and if you have serious offenses on your record, it could hurt your chances of being able to rent at that property.  A person with an arrest record but no convictions will be looked at differently than someone who had committed serious crimes.

Everything is reviewed, and the determination to rent to you is at the property owner’s decision. The best policy is to be accurate with all information stated on your application. Many state LIHTC programs or individual owner-occupancy policies may not rent to those who register for specific past criminal behavior.

How to Find Tax-Credit Apartments Near You

You apply for a LIHTC apartment through any apartment complex participating in the housing program. These are highly desired programs and fill up quickly.  Do not get discouraged if you don’t find an opening right away. Remember, you can apply at properties anywhere in your state.  Call or go online to check for availability.  It will save you time and gas.  Look at the communities that say, “Low-Income Housing Tax Credit,” and click the property name to learn more.

What Happens After I Apply

Your application is processed when you are approved; you will be notified of the date you can move in.  If there are no availabilities, you will be put on a waiting list, which should be from a few months but no longer than a year.  Speak to the property manager to find out how long a wait, but the wait is not usually long as these are not a set amount of government apartments, but private property owners that sign up with the program.   If you have been placed on a waiting list, keep in contact with your housing office for any changes.  The HUD Help Desk Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST at 1-800-245-2691. 

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