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What Happens After Applying to a Low Income Housing Tax Credit Apartment?

  1. Wait for the housing office to process applications.
  2. Confirm your waiting list status.
  3. Estimate your wait time.
  4. Stay in contact with the housing office.
  5. Move Into Offered Unit.

1: Wait for the housing office to process applications.

Once your application has been submitted, it generally takes a week or more to process. This depends on the resources available to review applications. Usually, online applications are processed more quickly than paper applications. You should ask the property manager how long it usually takes to process applications.

2: Confirm your waiting list status.

Very few LIHTC properties have a waiting list. If there is not a waiting list, you will be informed of your eligibility after your application is processed.

If there is a waiting list, the property will usually confirm your status by phone. You should call on a regular basis to see where you are on the waiting list.

If placed on the waiting list, keep a record of the property you applied to, along with any other relevant information (including login credentials, a confirmation number, or your position on the waiting list).

3: Estimate your wait time.

If you are placed on a waiting list, your wait time varies depending on the community you applied through, and if there are any additional rental subsidy programs attached to the property. Generally, your wait time will be a number of months, but no longer than a year. LIHTC communities that also participate in subsidy programs such as Project-Based Section 8 and USDA RD Rental Assistance will have a longer waiting lists than those with no subsidy programs. This is because there is a higher demand for those subsidy programs. Waiting lists for these properties have been known to be from many months to years long. You should inquire to each property separately about the length of their waiting lists.

Contact the community you applied through to find out if a representative can estimate the current length of the waiting list. If the office cannot make an estimate, a representative may be able to confirm the date they are currently pulling applications from. For example, if you applied in March 2016, and the office is pulling applicants who applied in January 2016, you still have a wait to receive assistance.

4: Stay in contact with the housing office.

Find out how to periodically check your waiting list status with an office. Usually, this will either be done by phone, or at the office.

If any of your application information changes (such as contact information, income, and household members), contact the property immediately. In the case that the property sends a notice that does not get returned, or if application information is out of date, your application may be terminated from the waiting list. Contact the property you applied through to find out how to officially update application information.

Reply immediately to notices sent to you that require a response. Properties periodically send notices to all persons on the waiting list, asking if they would like to remain on the waiting list. Applicants who do not respond within the given time frame will be terminated from the waiting list. This is known as purging, and is done to process applicants as efficiently as possible and ensure the waiting list for a property includes only applicants who are still searching for housing. Follow the specific instructions on the notice, or your application may be terminated.

5: Move Into Offered Unit.

After being approved for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, you will be able to move into the unit the property has approved for you.

Once approved, tenants in LIHTC properties do not have to be income qualified a second time, and may stay in the LIHTC unit as long as they follow the lease rules, even if their income increases above the LIHTC program limits.