What is the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program?
The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program is one of the many measures the U.S government has put in place to help ensure its low income citizens have access to decent housing.
So what is the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program? The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program is a popular housing program that helps create economic apartment communities that grant rents lower than what is offered on the market by housing developers and property owners. It has a tiered rent structure, which means that an apartment unit can have different rent amounts based on the occupants’ income.
Who is Eligible for LIHTC?
It is important to note that the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program is different from the Affordable Housing Program. To be eligible for admission to LIHTC, you must fall within the unit income limit. This is about 50% to 60% of the region’s AMI (Area Median Income).
There are no immigration restrictions on LIHTC properties; however, one can occur if the property receives funding from any source outside the LIHTC program.
How to Apply for LIHTC
To apply for a LIHTC apartment, you are required to fill and complete an application to the apartment community. The applications are available either online, by mail, or in their office. You may have to pay an application fee for each housing community you apply to.
Online applications require a valid email address to complete because correspondences would be sent to the email address. If you fail to give a response, your application may be denied or you’d be removed from the waiting list. Ensure you use an email that you get mails regularly.
The LIHTC application has multiple pages and tends to be longer than Section 8 and Public Housing applications.
The application may require:
- Name, DOB and gender
- Social Security Number
- Birth certificate
- Valid U.S. or state-issued photo I.D
- Credit history and housing history
- Employment, and income information
The application has to be filled as dictated by the housing community instructions, requiring either the entire sections of the application being filled or just specific sections. If you fail to follow the provided guidelines, your application may be declined.
What to do After Applying for LIHTC
Applying for a LIHTC apartment can be time-consuming due to all the requirements and processes. However, once you submit your application, it may only take a week or more to process it. Ensure you find out from your property manager how long the process usually takes.
A few LIHTC have a waiting list, especially if there aren’t any available units in the community. If there isn’t a waiting list, you would be informed of your eligibility once your application has been reviewed.
If there is a waiting list, ensure you regularly call to find out your status on the list and record the relevant information (such as login details or confirmation number) associated with the property you applied for.
There are usually several LIHTC housing communities available in towns and cities, all of which are operated independently. If you contact one property and there aren’t any available units, you should check other properties within the area for availability. Before applying, ensure you meet the income requirements.